Last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released the text of its two-year highway authorization bill.
Called "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century" or MAP-21, the bill is a bipartisan effort of Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Max Baucus (D-MT), and David Vitter (R-LA).
According to a summary of the bill on the Committee’s Web site, highlights include:
- Reauthorizes the federal-aid highway program at the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline level—equal to current funding levels plus inflation—for two fiscal years
- Consolidates the number of federal programs by two-thirds, from about 90 programs down to less than 30, to focus resources on key national goals and reduce duplicative programs
- Eliminates earmarks
- Expedites project delivery while protecting the environment
- Creates a new title called “America Fast Forward,” which strengthens the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Program (TIFIA) program to leverage federal dollars further than they have been stretched before
- Consolidates certain programs into a focused freight program to improve the movement of goods.
Complete summary is availble on the web site of the EPW Committee