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tv   House Transportation Subcommittee on Infrastructure  CSPAN  October 14, 2017 2:43pm-5:14pm EDT

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house transportation subcommittee held a hearing on infrastructure investments. witnesses highlighted several proposals including an increase in the state gas tax and opportunities for partnerships. from wednesday, this is two and a half hours.
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>> gathering input from our stakeholders is essential to the process. it was vital to pass the first long-term highway bill and a continue to we will need your assistance with teacher legislation. even with the additional resources we provided, the nation's transportation system still needs additional investments. and acting a long-term solution for the highway trust fund is a critical component to ensure address those needs into the future. act, hasn the fast been a central priority of the committee. funding forderal our nonfederal partners is vital to planning and building infrastructure for the 21st
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century. and is a bipartisan issue look forward to working constructively with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure we are going to achieve this goal. modern infrastructure means a strong america and an america that competes globally and creates jobs. of our like to thank all witnesses for being here today and i look forward to the testimony. i will turn to the ranking member for her statement. >> i very much appreciate that the subcommittee is holding this hearing to get input on rebuilding our highway systems. i think that is the right way to begin after this hiatus. have led thes congress to pass the first surface transportation bill in a decade in 2015.
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, asealized we had not begun important as that achievement was. it is not yet clear on where the trump administration stands or if it is serious about real investments and infrastructure. i am pleased that they speak about infrastructure so often. i think this committee is right to continue the due diligence that you have begun. let's get some money on the table. perhaps this hearing can bring our committee and subcommittee and the administration together in what all agree are urgently needed infrastructure work. we already have a bipartisan majority on this committee about what needs to be done.
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membersthis year, 250 of congress within this committee and within the congress, with robust representation from both sides of the aisle, joined the chairman and i on a letter to the leadership of the ways and means committee urging a permanent solution, with an emphasis on permanent, to our highway trust fund crisis. in this letter, we specifically any highway traffic fund solution should entail a long term, dedicated, user based revenue stream that can support the transportation infrastructure investment. letterrongly bipartisan stands in stark contrast to the administration's apparent view an infrastructure
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initiative is an opportunity to begin chipping away at the federal government's responsibility to be the steward of our national transportation network. ever since eisenhower, we have recognized that this is a network. you cannot dice and slice it. it goes from coast-to-coast, it goes from rural to urban. that is why the responsibility is federal. based on what we have seen so far from the administration, we may get a white house proposal that contains various incentives designed to boost local state and private dollars. try telling that to the states and localities, rural areas object to this and members and senators representing rural proponents ofng
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keeping the funding streams as they are. seems to hinttion that some funding would go to rural areas and the great all caps off other areas -- and the of other areas there would be federal and local dollars. there has been an agreement for my entire lifetime -- republican and democratic administrations alike -- that there should be federal grants that fund the entire network. i am happy to work with rural areas. they see right into the urban area i represent, to ensure they are treated fairly. when one part of the system is not treated fairly, we all have to jump in. i cannot support and infrastructure bill that is biased against urban areas. i suspect there would be a huge
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number of members with me on that. couldt that such a bill gather a majority from either party. as an example of what a region i represent the district of columbia which is a densely populated city in a densely populated region. you see all kinds of construction, trade, building more offices and apartments and condos, in collaboration with region, maryland suburbs, virginia suburbs, the federal government provides a transportation network for over 6 million people. within this microcosm of our country, congestion, transportation problems, deteriorating bridges are challenges we face no matter where we live. no part of the region is immune. i may represent the district,
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but i believe i represent the entire region and for that matter the country when i speak of this region. same challenges, the challenges i have described in this region are replicated in all of our major urban areas. maybe we should stop calling them urban areas because the feedspart of our region straight into these roads and bridges. that is where they come for the jobs because that is with the jobs are. in a transportation bill is essential. the top 20 urban areas contribute 52% of the total gdp of our economy. american population is expected 2045ow by 70 million by 2050, three-- by
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quarters of americans are expected to live in maker gions.s -- mega re more leave behind urban areas that we can leave behind rural areas. it is hard to disassociate one from the other. urban areas are the economic engine of the region. that is why the rural areas need them. if we leave urban areas to defend for themselves, then we are ignoring our constitutional mandate to assure the free-throw , allowing bottlenecks to build up an traffic to grind in major population and commercial centers is backwards and would hurt urban and rural areas alike. some of our witnesses today support the repeal of the federal ban on tolling interstates, initially enacted to protect drivers from double
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taxation. rasmusincin -- a survey found that few americans favor tolls on federal highway infrastructure maintenance. 65% are opposed to turning the nations interstate into tolling roads. we should think seriously about the impact on drivers if the federal government incentivizes federal lanes, tolls that allow drivers to avoid the congestion, general purpose lanes. allow those with disposable income to avoid congestion, yet leave the great majority of drivers stuck in traffic. just a few miles from here in virginia, on the 495 express , these use congestion
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tocing with no price cap ensure traffic flow remains at least 55 miles per hour in the express lanes. no traffic reduction requirement exists for the general purpose lanes. meaning any congestion benefits reside with those who can afford to pay more. in the same vein, the public/private partnership contract discourages carpooling of all things. that directly relieves congestion. hov be -- hov vehicles are exempt from tolls, but the virginia department of transportation has to subsidize the toll proceeds. this means the virginia department of transportation is
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incentivized to discourage carpooling, which is a major instrument for relieving congestion. finally, this is a particularly as oursan committee recent transportation and infrastructure legislation shows. any adverse treatment to transit investment in an infrastructure package would surely break up this partnership. we remember when there was a bill that failed to get to the floor some years ago because out transit.zeroed transit is critical the moving workers efficiently and minimizing congestion. we need more and not less of it and yet the administration in fiscal year 2018 and its budget the shortsighted mess
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that cutting transit funding will somehow solve our transportation funding woes. the opposition to transit is a recipe for congestion. mr. chairman, i look forward to hearing from today's witnesses and i thank you for calling this hearing today. >> i now turn to representative schuster. you.ank thank you to all the witnesses for being here. none of you are strangers to the committee. we look forward to hearing what you have to say. building a 21st-century infrastructure is about jobs and
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efficiency, moving rod trucks -- moving products and moving people and ensuring america is competitive and making sure we pay for it. stop kicking the can down the road so my children and great-grandchildren will be stuck with the bill for a road that is being built. i believe that president trump is a builder, i think this is an area he understands, he knows how to build things and finance things. closelybeen working with the administration trying to figure out the outline of the principles and we hope to see that soon out of the white house. again, hearing from the stakeholders on your policies and priorities is key to all of this. canthing i think we all agree on is we need to fix the highway trust fund, making sure there are solutions on the table , fixing the trust fund will help our nonfederal partners and if you look across the country,
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29 states have dealt with it over the last four or five years . i do not believe any state legislature has been wiped out for dealing with the funding stream. my state of pennsylvania, with a republican governor and republican house and senate out with their funding issue. following up on urban and suburban and rural, that gas tax is a regressive tax and rural america does pay more. ,n the pennsylvania experience although rural folks may pay more in their gas tax, they get back a lot more. you cannot build a roadway and rural america, you cannot build a road in my district that is not subsidized 50% to 80%. my folks are going to pay more when they fill up because they use their car more great what they get back from the users in philadelphia or pittsburgh comes back to them and it is a balance
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. that is something we have to keep in our minds as we go forward. america, those folks that have to travel more to get to work, they benefit greatly, and my district is an example of that. if you go to any rural district in america you will see you cannot build an interstate highway through rural pennsylvania or rural wyoming unless the folks from the urban areas, their dollars are there to help make this country connected. i look forward to hearing from you folks today and i appreciate use rending your time and your experience with us. i will now turn to the ranking member of the committee. >> thanks for holding this hearing and thanks for the witnesses that travel here today. i did not bring my poster but the poster of 1956 life magazine where the brand-new interstate and oklahoma ends at the
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arkansas border and a farmer's field because arkansas defaulted on their promise to build their section until we had a national highway program, and they got 80% of it paid for by the fed. we are talking about linking america together, a vision that white eisenhower had 70 years ago with a national transportation policy. transportation does not end at the state line. we need the federal investment as the chairman said. andtates have stepped up they have increased revenues. they are stepping up, they need a federal partner. it is not enough that they did that. election, noheir one was recalled, so why are we months here today, 10
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into the year after the first hearing on our infrastructure needs, with no proposals other than a few introduced by people like myself on a bipartisan basis. have freedom caucus sponsors. we can do this in a bipartisan way but all we are doing is talking. all we are doing is just talking while the country crumbles. seriously. let us get to work. the republicans took a very substantive step last week on transportation. they counted $25 billion in their budget. why are we here pretending? if that is their priority and they going to cut $25 billion, why are they holding hearings to talk about our needs? we have not raise the gas tax since 1993 when a guy named bud shuster brought a bunch of republicans to vote with the democrats.
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24 states and just the last years have recognized the need and done it. there has been no action here. we are promised $1 trillion by the white house and then they come up with this outline of ,200 million, maybe, sort of then the president says he does not like ppps. it is time for someone to take the lead and this committee should take the lead. it is time for the house to act. >> i would like to welcome our panel. we have the director of the missouri department of transportation here on behalf of the american association of state highway and transportation officials. we have the president and chief executive officer at granite corporation. he is here on behalf of the transportation construction correlation. we have the secretary of the northern building trades union. the president and chief executive offer of the associated industries of missouri.
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, who is thegoff chief executive officer of -- transit. consentask unanimous that are witnesses for statements be included in the record and without objection that is so ordered. testimony is going to be concluded in its entirety. please limit your summary to five minutes. opportunity for the to provide the perspective of the nation state department of transportation. my name is patrick and i serve as the director of the missouri department of transportation. it is my honor to testify on behalf of the great state of missouri, which represents the transportation of all 50 states, washington, d.c., and puerto rico. as the president and congress consider building and -- building a transportation package, consider that the future of the highway trust fund through sustainable
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long-term solutions. direct funding is needed instead of relying on incentives. traditional federal authorities should be assigned to states to expedite the process. priority should be given to transportation investments that secure our nation's future for long-term instead of shovel ready projects. structure,ting highways, transit, and rail should be utilized during this would enable investments to float every region of the country. it increased the amount of federal funds available that can be matched with state dollars. prior to the fast act, there was federal funding instability and missouri was in the difficult position of considering abandoning maintenance on miles of roadways. since the passage of the act, missouri has taken on more financial risk and increase our capital budget i $3 billion over
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five years. i want to thank the chairman and this committee for your continued action to create funding stability. the united states department of transportation nodes in 2015 at state and local governments forided 80% of funds highway and bridge programs. weite these numbers because disagree that federal funding displaces or discourages state and local investment. as my example shows, missouri increased its budget alongside and as a result of federal investment. the highway trust fund has provided stable transit funding for decades, but this is no longer the case. according to the congressional budget office, trust fund spending is expected to exceed 2021.ts by without your action, missouri will be back in the position we were before.
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missouri could see a 40% reduction in funds, $400 million less for the state. critical maintenance and improvement will stop. and infrastructure improvement -- and infrastructure package must focused on direct grant funding. the state dot continues to support a role for public private partnership. we maintain that financing -- infrastructure banks are insufficient to meet modes type of transportation investment needs. any new infrastructure plan should focus on the needs of rural america. rural areas are critical to the nation's economic success. we can improve program delivery by assigning some authority traditionally assumed by the federal government to states that wish to participate, including obligation management and right away acquisition. we asked congress to considering
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establishing the delivery pilot program which would develop innovative practices to streamline delivery and achieve a positive outcome. missouri has more than 1000 rivers, $12.5 billion of cargo travels down those waterways each year. we have see how investments can pay long-term dividends. in the past five years, $13 million of investments led to investment from the private sector. missouri's cost share program --bles us to leverage -- two 450 million dollars of state participation has led to the delivery of more than $1 billion of construction projects. therge congress to -- flexibility to let state and local governments select projects raised on public input allows local partners to meet together to meet the unique needs of local and urban areas.
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please take the necessary steps to ensure that all modes of transportation have access to additional federal resources that will keep our citizens connected and provide economic growth. i want to thank you for the opportunity to testify today and i'm happy to answer any questions. roberts? thank you for convening today's hearing. i'm the president and chief executive officer of granite construction. --are performing as a headquartered in watsonville, california, our teams are proud to have built american infrastructure across our country since 1922. our work improves public safety and the efficiency of commerce. weather routine maintenance of orska or california roadways
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airport runway expansions or infrastructure projects of regional and national significance, we are part of a community in which we build. on behalfed to appear of the transportation and construction coalition. the tcc is the partnership of transportation association and construction unions. the visionary investment in our interstate highway system that supports our economy today, the country is ready to rally behind a bold federal infrastructure vision backed by significant -- to fund this vision. more than half of the states and our country have increased funding commitments to their transportation programs. now is the perfect time for leadership to reemerge at the federal level. let's begin with the highway trust fund, which has a well-known permanent revenue shortfall that impedes state and local governments to plan funds and construct transportation projects.
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while the fast act was passed in 2015, it is still a not enough. if states follow past practices, then some will start scaling back planned projects as early as 2019 due to funding uncertainty. act reform the highway and public transportation programs in a manner that emphasize meeting national goals while providing states additional flexibility. policy improvement was significant but the funding commitment has paled in comparison. -- such as improving our nation's economic competitiveness. the longer we wait to invest, the further we fall behind the developing world in the safety and quality and efficiency of our transportation power and infrastructure. members ofth the 253 the house of representatives who urged the ways and means
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committee to include a -- stabilizing the highway trust fund and tax reform would provide a platform for a transformative infrastructure package. increasing and indexing the is the simplest and most efficient short-term fix. given the pace of mobility and technological change, we believe that all potential funding option should be on the table to create long-term solutions and stabilize and reinvigorate federal investments. any highway trust fund revenue must include permanent way protected and dedicated revenue streams and resources sufficient to eliminate the shortfall and to support increased investment. while resources and structure are essential components, so is ensuring the timely delivery of projects. we suggested practical reforms that began with merging the national environmental policy act and the clean water act with the u.s. army corps of engineers.
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we also believe a reasonable and measured approach to citizens who reform is appropriate to mitigate the misuse of environmental laws. -- not held upd in red tape. -- on our very real need to improve infrastructure. now is the time to act as the work and investment of previous generations is beginning to crumble in front of our eyes. we look to you, our country's leaders to guide and promote the vision for overdue infrastructure investment in cities and rural areas across america. the transportation and water and power systems continues to hamper the welfare of our country and decrease our global competitiveness. it is time to address infrastructure needs that have been ignored for decades. i urge you all to take action and to be strong leaders just like your predecessor from 60 years ago, whose visionary
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actions we're still relying on today. now's the time for our country's leadership to commit to long-term solutions. mr. chairman, thank you again for inviting the tcc to participate in today's discussion. >> thank you. >> good morning chairman and distinguished members of the subcommittee. my name is brent booker. on behalf of the nearly 2 million skilled construction professionals i am proud to represent i would like to thank you for allowing me to testify before the subcommittee. building america's infrastructure is what our members do every day, whether it is loads and bridges, airports, waterways, or other energy infrastructure, public buildings, or skyscrapers, our members apply their unique skill sets to building infrastructure in every corner of our great nation. the strength of the construction industry and their job opportunities is tied to the strength of public all see
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advancing the building of public infrastructure. i would like to thank the leadership of the subcommittee and helping move the most recent bill or it highway bills are the largest job creating piece of legislation and they provide certainty to our members that opportunities will be available for years to come. while the fast act made i believe noides, one can argue that more can and must be done to further repair our nation's infrastructure. north america's building trades believe that build and broad infrastructure plans is a necessary step our country must take for workers and businesses across the united states. the question before the subcommittee and congress is what should a plan include? for our members and infrastructure plan would reflect the overall infrastructure consistently reiterated by president trump. such an investment would allow us to meet many of our pressing needs but will lay the
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foundation of sustained economic growth and communities large and small area in spurring this economic growth, a plan of this magnitude must increase the standard of living for americans across the nation. in order to do so, the power of the federal government must not be used as leverage to depress wages, especially construction wages which have been in decline since the late 1970's. north america's trade union members remain insistent that such a plan include the prevailing wage standards enshrined in the ask our members have fought for over generation. abroad infrastructure plan will encompass all modes of infrastructure such as schools, rail,systems, aviation, waterways, broadband, and our energy infrastructure through new modern power generation .acilities to address the wide friday of
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infrastructure needs effectively, we must address them efficiently. it prudente believe to address our challenges through currently existing programs. efficiency should not breed duplicate programs. federal program should be created to meet infrastructure needs that do not have existing public mechanisms to deliver projects. for our members, of old infrastructure plan is one that tackles the tough challenges and lays out a vision for a brighter future. membersargue that most of the panel would agree there is no greater challenge facing surface transportation than the long-term solvency of the highway trust fund. we support a variety of measures to fix the trust fund and are open to a variety of proposals to ensure it solvency. we believe congress should not ant -- not squander such important opportunity. and infrastructure plan should continue to tackle major products that have regional and national economic impacts. one project is the bridge replacement in new york that to
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date are responsible for roughly 7 million hours of work and to 20 million pounds of u.s. steel and 3000 cubic yards of concrete. what those numbers do not tell you is that projects such as these and all public infrastructure projects are critical to ensuring -- in conjunction with her industry -- with our industry partners to privately funded -- our unions and our contractor partners invest roughly $1.2 billion of our own capital into training our current and future members. labor as well as community partners are working in partnership to meet the workforce challenges presented by large investment and infrastructure. ronald reagan once said -- the bridges and highways we fail to repair today will have to be rebuilt tomorrow at many times the cost.
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he said that rebuilding our infrastructure is common sense and represents an investment in tomorrow we must make today. reagan was correct in his assessment. his words are just as prominent today due to continued in action in substantive investment. continued inaction will only exasperate our challenges and place on the american economy grade it is time for the infrastructure of united states to the andy -- to be the envy of the world. willing andions are able to build it right and build it now so the rebuilding of america begins soon. >> thank you. good morning chairman and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to testify on such an important topic. i am president and ceo of associated industries in missouri. 's we are missouri oldest business association. our job is to promote a
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favorable business climate. we are also the home of the missouri transportation and development council which had its roots as the good roads by aation which was formed guy who went on to be elected to congress and the u.s. senate and we did pass that, that was to get missouri out of the mud and build the first park roads in missouri, a bold proposition for the early 1920's. he also sponsored the bill that formed the missouri department of transportation. we believe the transportation system in missouri demands continued attention because it is vital to the state's economic welfare and quality of life. are also the state department of the national association of manufacturers and missouri. trades the longest associate -- the largest trade association and the voice of men and women who make things in america. manufacturers appreciate your focus on building a 21st-century infrastructure system.
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applaud your bipartisan work in 2015 to successfully reauthorize service transportation programs for five years. in october of 2016, the nam released its infrastructure andram building to win urged bipartisan action to revolutionize infrastructure and make the american dream possible. for too long we have relied on the infrastructure we have inherited run previous generations, weakening our economy and putting the safety of our families at risk. in missouri, we rely on interstate 70, the first highway built the interstate highway system. interstate 70 and interstate 44 provide a critical conduit for manufactured goods for manufacturers across the nation because of missouri's location in the heart of america. traffic is increasing the cost of moving freight on our nations
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highways by $63.4 billion per year. 362,000the opponent of truck drivers sitting idle for an entire work year. as modern manufacturing evolves and becomes more productive, manufacturers rely on complex supply chains where parts are ordered, made, and delivered within hours. one company in missouri recently lost an afternoon shift due to an accident on i 70 that close that highway for a few hours. the cost was more than $1 million. such delays can be devastating for smaller manufacturers. manufacturers also rely on transit to get our employees to work. if you think transit is limited to the urban areas, you can think again. organizations that provide vital services to rural americans. manufacturers believe the nation must undertake and infrastructure effort that seeks to modernize our aging system
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and a long-term public commitment to infrastructure. federal leadership is needed to and ruralttlenecks and metropolitan areas and improve the systemwide movement of freight throughout the country. long-term solvency should be a pillar of 21st-century infrastructure proposals. to set upge congress a reliable long-term funding stream. the average congest and crossed for truck was $.23, that was up 25% from 2014. this is a hidden tax but it is not a tax we can invest, it is being wasted on idle labor hours and unnecessary vehicle wear and tear. instead of being invested in the come -- tost fund to improve america's competitiveness. manufacturers need the highway system to -- municipal bonds should be protected if policy members consider ways to expand
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the public-private partnership and leveraging opportunities. improvements to better deliver 21st-century infrastructure such as expedited environmental reviews are critical to the success of any effort. this committee has model bipartisan efforts that put solutions before politics. that leadership is needed now more than ever to deliver a pro-manufacturing infrastructure package that will include a vision of modern 21st-century infrastructure. this is the right opportunity to address neglected products. i will be happy to answer questions. >> thank you. >> thank you chairman graves, ranking member nor can -- ranking member norton. while i've appeared in this subcommittee in other roles, i am pleased to join you to bring
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you perspective from one of the nations fastest-growing regions. president trump declared crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, and railways, lehman across our beautiful land. we are prepared to delivery on the president's vision. while we are encouraged by the president's goals we have been disappointed by budget proposals from his administration that appear to undermine those goals. at the same time, administration officials have made other statements that we can applaud and endorse, including the value of over matching federal funds, and the importance of training a skilled workforce. it is clear that this committee will be key to driving this effort and i would offer the following recommendations. first, i would act to what the other witnesses have already said and that funding of a new infrastructure initiative must
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this istitute for -- critical for rail transit agencies who must expand to meet population growth. under the budget request for 2018, the funding level sought for major true transit expansions is effectively zero, ignoring the authorizations in the fast act. we have been working with the fda to secure grant agreements for extensions of our rail spine , one wanting north from seattle to lynnwood, the other running south to federal way. we are joined by many similar products that seem to meet demand with reliable federal partners. regrettably, the administration's proposal to terminate that partnership attempts to rekindle an ideological to break -- an ideological debate over the value of transit products. states and municipalities across the spectrum have long since moved beyond that old debate.
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seeere heartened to bipartisan support rejecting the proposed cuts for transit expansions for fiscal 2017 and our hope for a similar outcome this year. the most recent census tells us that our population and economy will be increasingly urban. i will not repeat the data that miss norton cited. 70 million more americans will be overwhelmingly located in urban areas. region,uget sound congestion has doubled in the last five years and we are expecting a million more citizens by 2040. without new mobility options this growth threatens to choke our continued prosperity. our major urban makeup legions -- our major urban makeup regions will serve as a -- i use the example of amazon's recent announcement that while
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expanding in seattle they are looking to open a second national headquarters. that not an accident amazon is insisting that all cities bidding provide detailed data on the availability of direct access to rail transit services. it is one of just four identified requirements. are the infrastructure requirements for a 21st century economy. we believe the administration may be on the right track and highlighting the importance of states and localities providing matching funds to access new federal dollars beyond the base level of funding. the federal share of transit voter approved capital plan is just 16%. we have already taken two major light rail expansion projects with zero grant dollars. the taxpayers in washington state have delivered -- demonstrated levels of self-help to meet their transportation needs. the balance we passed this
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november called on voters to increase their own taxes by $169 a year every year. the same legislation that let us go to the voters also increased the state's gas tax by 11.9 cents. we are doing a remarkable level of self-help to meet our transportation needs. any federal infrastructure policy should reward this level of effort, not penalize it as it proposed in the administration's budget. we are supportive of efforts to streamline the environmental process. these efforts must be done with great respect for the core and mott -- for the poor environmental protections of federal law. thehe pacific northwest, economic health and our quality of life go with the protection of our environment. streamlining the process should not mean sort circuiting the process. is nol agencies will do favor if hastily produced environmental documents delay
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our projects in the courts. in that regards, we need to remember that litigants in this space do not care for the environment. instead they try to use the environmental process to slow or kill a project because it is their last chance of fording the will of the voters or reversing the will of a state or local government. transitnot limited to projects or water projects, it is the way the process works. i would summarize by encouraging this committee to take care of environmental streamlining. there is further progress that can be made, but look at the staffing levels of the agencies and the dot to make sure there is staff on hand to produce quality environmental documents >> not going to recognize each member for five minutes for questions. i think one of the key
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components we have to figure out on long-term funding stream. i know my colleague was very passionate about it. he has come up with a funding plan that seems reasonable to me. there is probably 10 out there. planyou come up with a new to try to educate members of congress on, it is very difficult. i'm trying to do that on the bill right now. i'm trying to put some members that don't seem to understand what i'm trying to do. when you are moving, let's keep it simple. thatve to be looking at one very closely before we start going off on different new ideas. efficient, it was pretty simple and straightforward for it i'm open to everything, that has to be a
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priority or me on how do we fund this. we also have to be thinking outside the box. way to bring dollars in. public-private partnerships are not a silver bullet. of a good tool to have in the tool bag. i'm going to ask the question about asset recycling. some of my colleagues say you want to sell all of our assets. if you look at the australian model, they hardly sold any assets. leasing is far different than selling. leasing is you still retain the ownership, you allow somebody to come in and turn it into cash over time. the idea is to have a bonus payment to do that. the australian model. we met with the ambassador, the architect of these programs in australia. the first question of a group of republicans was the chinese are going to buy all of our assets.
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the australians said no they didn't, we wouldn't let them. they are investors, they don't control them. it's money. money is around the world out there. that are trillions of dollars that would love to invest in american infrastructure product. they are looking for a 10% return if you're looking at a 30-40 year deal. evenare good with 3.5%, our own unions are looking at that. they invest their money in canadian infrastructure, heresy, isn't it. trade investing in a foreign country. they do it because it's making money for the folks that are responsible for their pensions. asset recycling is something we have to consider. we have to look at what the other liens have done. they have generated over $20 billion in a short period of time on top of what they have spent. i would ask mr. mckenna, booker,
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and mr. roberts to respond. what you think the prospects are? this, you we look at really have to look at these things in a project by project raises. you have to look at the benefits. do the analysis on a complicated project, determine if advancing the construction on that particular facility is not available through other means, what is the benefit in terms of reduction, congestion, enhanced facilities. it has been done at a number of airports. playing that you are out those costs and benefits. it's a tool in the toolbox. i think that's appropriate for us to have all of the tools we can. this is a problem we have to solve all over the country, we need the tools weekend to do so. >> we have been involved in a
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few projects where we are actually handling the financing mechanisms. they should not be considered a short-term issue. we need to look at the long-term, also. sometimes we monetize assets and also pay a bigger bill in the long-term. what i've seen in both the public and private sectors, the financial models are imperative, but knowing what you are getting rid of before you get rid of it is the important number. privatization and the three p program is another tool for all of our individual deities and agencies in the country. i would look at it in lump asset recycling, they are not all created equal. there are some really good public-private partnerships out there that are doing really good things out there. there are some that aren't so good for it when you look at the
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asset recycling program, with the project is, what the long-term gain is, you are right, talking about our pension dollars. we invest pension dollars in projects that make sense. our first goal is to put members to work. you have to produce the responsibility of a trustee on it pension fund to make sure you get the returns compared to the market. when those things matchup, we will be in support of them. you have to take a look at a case-by-case to see what the investment strategy is and what the standards are for the workers. >> i agree, we have to look at a case-by-case. there are some things that can be home runs and some that we walk away from. the only reason i didn't include mr. rogoff was that i knew we were going to run out of time. if you can give us your views on it or, in 10 seconds right now. >> transit has the challenge of having revenues to entice a investor.
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colorado has done it to availability payments. we are looking about whether it makes sense for us. the important point is the one you made at the beginning. it's a tool in the tool chest, it shouldn't have a leg up on anything else. connecticut, i don't know if there's any state , severalthe country years ago they had all of the down,de plazas run service was terrible, they leased them to the carlyle group. carlyle group came in and refurbished memo -- them all. claiming,old they are beautiful -- gleaming, beautiful travel plazas. and they are putting money back. . it can be done it has been
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done,. in a state like connecticut, my goodness. texas can do it, and pennsylvania. thank you all very much. chairman. mr. we did have a special select committee of members here appointed by the chairman for years ago. we met for more than a year. we met about people three's, we put out a consensus report. the conclusion was if you look at america's broad infrastructure needs, p threes with the best facilitation through law can deal with some between 10-12% of our infrastructure needs. that still leaves a lot on the table. 88-90%. well-regulated. three great, that's not a
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solution. it can be -- it can't be. there's an interesting statistic, the toll rate per mile is $.30. tollroadfor a non- p3 is $.14. that does raise some questions about what we are going to do to the american driving public if we are going to go down the p3 route. what we found in doing that report was that almost every large p3 out there is substantially funded by the federal government. they all use 80 percent of their needs. the private capital puts up 10%, then they turned to the federal government. i think it points to the absolute essential need for us
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to have a robust, long-term spending stream. the americanink public at least cost and direct federal partnership with the states is to do that. to comment on the salesman at the on charlie and -- australian embassy, they did it for two years. it was such a grant success. two of the money went to their provinces. one was new south wales, which have been selling things off on their own. then they got a next her bonus payment from the federal government to do another sale of assets that they had been doing. if we follow that model, we will take tax dollars that don't exist, and are ready in short supply, and go to local jurisdictions who already have the authority if they wish to sell off their ports, or whatever they want to do. that's up to the local
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jurisdiction. the government doesn't need to bribe them with dollars we don't have to do that. it was a dumb us earlier and australia, the new government came in and say we are done with that. put the money in the national program and distribute it back out across the country. it didn't work there, it's not going to work here. we just shouldn't go down that road. i agree with everything you --hasas your organization your organization presented these ideas to this administration? >> we have been participating with roundtable discussions that have occurred. a robustnly support discussion, but we also understand that we have to have flexibility in the program. state deal teas are recognizing the fact that we have to look at procurement methods that maybe are not the simple procurement methods of the past. we have to open ourselves up in
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the case of particular projects that are complicated and difficult to structure financially. we are looking at those possibilities. design build, design build finance, those are good and they actually help us work even closer with our construction partners to bring innovative solutions to the engineering problems that we face. is a combination itself, is not a one-size-fits-all. d.o.t.'s have to open up to our own approach, as well. >> i agree with you on that. the federal government should facilitate that. robustd still say that a federal investment is still critical to most states. question, itck
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would be 24 states have already raised their gas tax. the administration is talking about providing incentives to states that raise their revenues in the future. states have already gone up to the bar, taken the risk. that if we are going to provide incentive, it should have a look back provision. these states already did what was right. if they want to do even more, they can get more incentive, there should be a look back and not reward the 26th state who have not done anything. option,ld add one other there's been a level of effort requirements. that doesn't necessarily back at at what theyf time have done over longer historically. it does take a look at the
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self-sacrifice they had already made. >> could you provide some information on that? >> i would have to go to get out, but yes sir. >> i just make a quick comment on your opening statement. i want to thank you for your passion on the subject. i can't agree with what you said in your opening statement. thing, it's ame network system. this is a federal issue. there are a lot of tools in the full just, but the federal issue and federal funding is the single most important portion of this. the methods can get more efficiencies and how we procure the work, we have the contractor associations today, at risk jobs, design build finance, those alternatives are great. i think you hit the nail on the head, relative to the primary workforce today, is that we need
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additional funding from the federal government to get all of those programs in action. >> thank you. i want take all of the time of. mr. roberts and mr. fazio, i agree with you. there are more federal dollars, we have to figure this out. we have to look at other ways to try to be fed up. three points on the australian example. it was a two-year program, it end.en -- it did if you want to get into this program, you have to get into a quick. new south wales opposed this program in parliament to the bitter end. when it was passed, they were the first ones in line to get this based on a first-come first-served basis. they have more highways, cranes than any other state in the
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world. until it's oppose it became the policy and they were there for an center. entities like airports and water systems do not pay local state federal taxes. when a private company comes on board and arts to run it, they pay federal taxes. that's the way the funding way was made. it was generated by this entity. if we shut the door on something like this without taking a look at it, i think we are kidding ourselves. we have to figure out something sustainable, long-term, and also look at these other tools in the toolbox. tool fromtake this 10%-12%, i think that's a pretty good day's work. >> is it going to center on
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rural america and the needs. are they also going to concentrate on long-term certainty of it -- solvency. >> he floated what could be called a new idea, relatively new idea. if you think about transportation networks, it has suffered from having relatively few new ideas. all of this time that we've had this network. until recently we didn't do very much until we were able to pass long-term bill in 2015. we have been running on the same grid. i am interested in what the answer to german schuster's question -- chairman
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schuster'questions. you really made me think about this notion of over matching, or self-help. particularlynk, with my colleagues on the other side being in charge, you'd want to incentivize that. out of desperation, we have seen with the gas tax, people just step up without the federal match. you described what some would call over matching, because you have gone back to your taxpayers not only for the gas tax, but for your input structure generally. you are concerned that the administration, which says it wants to reward such states and regions. wethis region, for example,
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wanted desperately to have a subway stop down the new york avenue subway stop. develop anwould help entire area of the district of columbia, it was funded by business, but the district of columbia, and the administration. not any federal transportation funds. it may be the only -- it may be one-of-a-kind in the country. incentivizing rather than the incentivizing is a great interest to me. i don't want to do anything, i've heard on both sides that we begin with the federal dollars. anynder if you have given encourage moreto
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jurisdictions to overmatch or move ahead on infastructure while being insured that it wouldn't be punished by the federal government. i'm looking for an incentive, because apparently you have done it, perhaps because there was no other way to do it. i'm looking for a positive way to encourage people who want to invest in their own local infrastructure or transit for their own local reasons to receive some reward or encouragement. some incentive from the federal government. have you given any that -- have you given any thought to that? thought. given it some it has been talked about in the past. when you talk about these major
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transit expansions. , we should recognize that split,the classic 80-20 by law we are kept that 50% for the projects that we are seeking assistance for, we are looking and 25%federal funding funding to get to federal way. these are efforts we are making because we are determined to get there, and the region congestion being what it is needs. take less saying to of a federal match? >> we are being backed into that approach in part by federal budget policy. when i talked about being penalized for over matching, it was a specific writeup that came out of omb when the budget came ,orward that called out my name los angeles, and denver.
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it pointed out as a rationale to eliminate the federal partnership, the fact that we get on to our voters and raised taxes for taxes -- expansions. encourage whatto they did elsewhere, then we ought to be, and i'm very interested in discussions with you. how can we use that, rather than punish that anytime when it difficult to get funding? i want to ask mr. mckenna a question, he represents the whole state of missouri. we talked about the media crisis in rural areas, i couldn't agree more. if we are having trouble in what is a relatively wealthy area, i can't imagine if we go into southern virginia, they must be going through. you represent an entire state. while you called attention to an immediate crisis in rural areas, i wonder what you would say
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about cities like st. louis or kansas city that have pressing needs at the same time. what i'm trying to get to is what this committee has always of the, pitting one part region against another part, going back to the eisenhower administration that this was one that network -- one vast network. i don't see how rural areas are able to do everything. i would argue bring together big cities like st. louis and kansas city with places that can't possibly fund any of their transportation are very few of their transportation needs. insurance,add the across the country, how do we ensure that they are not left
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out in this process. >> thank you for the question. in missouri, we allocate the limited resources that we have based on objective criteria, similar to the allocation done by congress. that's why we think that so important. areas, weok at rural are just now undertaking a replacement of the cap clerk bridge -- check mark bridge which connects rural missouri with illinois. had we not had that underway, our rural communities would have a 77 mile detour. it was built originally in 1928. likewise, we have structures in st. louis and kansas city that carry 120,000 cars a day. it all comes down to dollars and cents and how you allocate those. objective criteria for allocating resources is critical so that neither area feels like they have a disadvantaged over the other.
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we use population, employment data, the size of the infrastructure, and square footage of rate depth -- bridge depth so that urban areas receive a larger share of the pie. rural areas received their eligible share. what happens is it's very difficult to move the needle on large projects like a major river crossing. this is a $60 million enterprise for us. we have to build up resources to subsidize that area to be able to make that. your point is taken that this entire system is connected. if we let any of those connections go down, we are disconnecting the communities themselves. it's the allocation of resources objectively that an antidote to that, but recognizing there is not enough money coming in to satisfy all of the needs in any region is very critical. >> chairman shuster made a very important point, perhaps it
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wasn't official to where he represents. he said rural areas a more -- a -- pay more in gas if we lose that notion that you don't ultimately lose by the funding of a network of transportation and infrastructure, then we lost the great american transportation lesson. i thank you very much. first question. we have made a lot of progress in encouraging in tomorrow transportation different program and other initiatives. in an infrastructure package do you see the trait working? -- trade working? >> we appreciate that.
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from the manufacturers that point, we are not safety experts. we need someone to tell us reliable safety scores. we have manufacturing members of the national association of manufacturers who are ordered to trial by judge after they hired a twice satisfactory rate it motor carrier. the judge is confused whether the data presented by the plaintiff or the ratings indicated that the carrier had been deemed safe to operate on the nation's highways. answered the second question of contrast. -- i was going to ask. programel that the free is actually focusing our efforts as a state, it's doing so reasonably. bothink the professions of that encourage every state to put together a free plan to work with -- freight plan. baseline for further investment.
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2014. so in missouri in we are actually using that as the baseline for a lot of our primary cost-benefit on instruction products that we are looking -- projects that we are looking at. we know it will occur when we remove these freight bottlenecks. there will be a passenger benefit, as well. i think it is working i think that remaining to have the focus is important. mentioned in your testimony about the importance of municipal bond taxes. i don't think that's in our framework right now. you want to elaborate on why that is so important? >> as tax reform is being considered, we think it's important to reserve the ability to deduct the interest from the municipal bonds. it preserves another measure that can be used to generate funds that we need to fix the
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roads. bonds can-- these make it less attractive. we'd like to make sure they are considered as you go forward. it's not something positive to the balance sheet, it's something that could act as an incentive to maintain that sensibility and maintain more. the -- youwith mentioned your testimony about one hiring standard for trucking companies. mandated the csa, the accountability program. do you have any comments on that? the csa, we think safety scores are important, but they are not something manufacturers can come up with and be expected. we are not manufacturers, we are not motor carriers, we do rely on the csa to regulate motor
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safety. putting manufacturers in the middle of that league to unhappy consequent -- leads to unhappy consequences. currently, there is no requirement checking the qualifications you have to hire a motor carrier. we have established a hiring standard that allows some protection, we think that would be something to consider. >> i just had problems with the way it was set up, it things our truckers on -- unfairly for the traits. when carriers like the manufacturers are looking at the truckers or the trucking companies there unfairly treated. it doesn't get a real snapshot of what's really going on. theyully we can get that -- hopefully we can get that fixed.
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say thatke to note and we have launched a bipartisan congressional infrastructure caucus. that includes mr. graves and mr. duncan, we will be working to get our colleagues from all different committees. the revenue aspects are incredibly important. commerce, as well as we look at how technology is rapidly changing the needs and immense. myant to urge any of colleagues who are not members to sign up today. we are being outcompeted by china and other companies -- countries that are investing in their infrastructure. we don't have 20-40 years to wait to get on with it. of encapsulated the remarks many of the manufacturers in my district who are looking at us
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and saying how can i possibly compete when i can get my workers into the factory. that's the number one complaint in my state of connecticut, transportation more than taxes or anything else. this problem has been brewing for decades. everyone has mentioned it. we need revenue. we need revenue when you can do financing. we have a serious revenue problem. we have relied on user fees, the world is changing. cars are more efficient, we can index the gas tax, we are having alternative fuels. members of the congress here don't pay any gas tax whatsoever. .e need to look down the road my kids use a car sharing service. we are looking at autonomous vehicles. -- i would like
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all of you to help think about how we are going to look at those aspects, evaluating projects based on future infrastructure needs when we have such a rapidly changing technology and usage patterns, increasing urbanization. we are going to be needing to do a lot more transit if you look at the demographic power. that's happening very fast. we are going to need your help. that's one question. another one is on the p threes, one of the concerns i have is that they need to be part of the mix. that prioritizes making revenue, not necessarily what is in the public's interest. it meets certain kinds of projects, it may be very smart for something in the northeast where you know high-speed rail would have a revenue stream. maybe that works. for a lot of things, it doesn't.
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i would love to hear your thoughts on life cycle costs. a lot of my concern with creative financing mechanisms are they cannot deal with actually fixing current infrastructure. in prioritizes something that can create a new revenue stream. living in an older part of infrastructure in the northeast, we are concerned. out my statepoint is one of those states that have continued to raise the gas tax. some of the proposals on the table, mr. lipinski and mr. davis and i work at the white house two weeks ago. they talked about incentivizing states to step up. my state has been stepping up for some time. i think it's important that we not punish states would hardly taken the states -- steps -- who have already taken those steps. out, you pointed especially in the northeast, you like metro-north
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and others that have deteriorated over time with age and struggled to rebuild what they have. i think it is right for this committee in crafting a new initiative to whether its highways, transit, border, or anyone to ask project sponsors to identify and evaluate the merits of their proposals based on their ability to build it and having the revenue streams to maintain it. is something we started in the federal transit administration when i was there, if we are going to invest in expanding your footprint, shouldn't we at least know how you are doing and maintaining your current footprint? we have a mechanism in sound transit and are measures that voters adopt a capital plan and increase taxes. to thees are rolled back level necessary to operate and maintain it.
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we have a revenue stream for maintenance, a great many other systems don't. we are now paying the price for that. this is a question whether its highways, transit, or water. if i may answer on the fix it first. we certainly are proponents of new construction. we feel there is an unbelievable need in this country for new rail, new water, newbridge, roads and highways. take a look at the symbols engineers must resume up -- civil engineers most recent report. we have over 50,000 structurally deficient bridges that citizens are driving across everyday. develop these new revenue streams, we have to focus on what is currently deficient in our country today. many bridges and tunnels that -- we ares-old, they
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putting ourselves and our fellow citizens at risk every day by driving through them. to come up with a way to as wer existing system also continue to meet the challenges of today's society and the needs of what we have. at the regard to looking entire capital plan. i think we have to look at this bill like a company would look at an investment portfolio. there's not a particular solution that will meet the needs of every region of the country uniformly. from a standpoint of a state dot, the flexibility. opening up the flexibility of the service transportation so that the states can meet local needs. we have a planning framework that we go through utilizing and regional planning commission's that the needs of those
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communities, they know best what their needs are. whether it's new construction, expansion, or fixing the existing system. the flexibility to utilize the federal funds in concert with those local needs is a critical aspect. the maintenance issue has gotten so big in this country, when you look alone in the state of california, $140 billion of backlog maintenance. that is almost half a party. we cannot -- priority. we cannot be isolating funds, we need to take care of what we have already. i would suggest a lot of the states today are focusing on that, because they understand that backlog has gotten so expensive, the cost base goes up. command the legislature in california for putting together a program to mostly focus on getting that entire
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infrastructure transportation system up to speed so they can move forward from this point on. the backlog and the long-term versus the short-term, we have to take over the short-term or we won't have a long-term. ofcan i ask for a point privilege. i would like to welcome back my good friend who just snuck in the back room, it looks like he's back at work. matt mika, stand up. . he's recovering well from the tragedy he experienced a few months ago. [applause] >> welcome back, my friend. quick question for everybody on the panel. raise your hand if you think that we can stabilize and solidify the highway trust fund by raising the gas tax. you guys have listened well to the people behind you, they usually get asked the same question bias.
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that's what's great about this hearing. we are actually talking about diversification. in the rage over the fact that we have an addressed many issues that we listened to a few minutes ago. about part of the diversification, asset recycling. the discussion here is very bipartisan. the discussion that a few of us had at the white house the other morning was centered on infrastructure and how do we solidify it and stabilize our infrastructure dollars? everybody has a lot of ideas, why can't we use them all? is somethingon i've been talking about since i got your 4.5 years of. how do we diversify? what do we do to make sure that we are ready for the next generation of vehicles. we all agree because none of you raise your hand. how on one hand can we have our
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highway trust fund funded by one source that the same federal government, how do we tell you to burn less of it? i think what should scare everybody sitting at the table and everybody here is that we have countries like france that's a in the next 20 years they don't want a single gasoline powered vehicle on the roadway. let's say president mccrone is half right, what does that mean for the vehicles on our roadways. what are we going to be able to do to actually have a trust? imagine one electric technology gets into the fleet level. what will that do besides decimate our highway trust fund? our job is to plan. we can talk about putting these ideas together, we can talk about diversification, but in the end, we have to come up with the plan that will get votes. all sites are going to have to sit down instead of discuss what's going to get us to an
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actual bill that will pass. that's where we need your help. we all agree something has to be done, but the funny thing about washington is those details are the things that sticks out. you all agree that we need diversification. who wants to be the first one to tell me what plan is going to work best? >> when we talk about diversification, i think we have to recognize that fuel efficiency increases, the revenue will decrease. i'd like to -- >> manufacturers to create engines lebron less. -- that burn lasts. >> i like to talk about something that is going on in -- one of the members put an
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inflator onto their gas tax that raised their gas tax. then they put an inflator and in part used the fuel economy of the entire georgia vehicle fleet. that kicked in this past year, it created an adjustment so that they didn't lose any money into their own revenue based on the rising fuel economy. we are going to have to look for things that create some way to adjust through to the near future, but not to forget the baseline of what the funding is that will get us there. >> i didn't see your hand. >> i wanted to flag mr. davis, washington state is one of the few states that has stepped up and taken the invitation from federal highways to study road uses charges. our transportation commission is launching a project involving some 2000 drivers across the state, also partnering with
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oregon and idaho to look at road uses charges and how they might work, leave it to some people who have an app on their phone to measure miles. it's not necessarily by mileage, it's the fining usage in a number of different ways. they are looking at different constructs that we are able to report back to this committee alternatives there are also specifics on how that may work for electric vehicles given the greatly given the greatly diminished fuel consumption of those vehicles. >> i have a question i'm going to send to you. it's on one of the programs. anybody on the panel drive it fully electric vehicle? >no freeloaders ideal back. -- i yield back. >> first i want to note the relative consensus in the testimony.
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several panelists have highlighted the need to stabilize the highway trust fund, but also to seek additional revenue sources to fund needed infrastructure. i was glad to hear my colleague from illinois call for diversification. i have proposed a dedicated funding stream for freight transportation. so that projects can address bottlenecks and deficiencies in our good movement network and they can be financed by users of the freight infrastructure. -- has is bipartisan bipartisan support, it will approximately raise $8 billion a year for this investment. there may be other solutions, i'm glad to hear we are talking about diversification. there is a consensus that the status quo is simply inadequate to meet the challenges as we go forward in our infrastructure in the future. i have a question for you first.
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thaturi state plan notes truck volume is expected to increase by over 50% between 2011 and 2030. volumes are up to record highs, addressing this strain on our great network is a key challenge in the years forward. i represent the port area, long beach, we have had the highest amount of growth in years. long beach recently had the highest one-month total. the question i have is the you willlike states like yours have the resources they need to meet the increased volume without a dedicated freight infrastructure funding from the federal government? believe we have the resources required to meet that need. i don't think we have the resources required at present to meet the current need.
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freight,e the focus on it is a critical aspect of our economy in the states. element,cused on that we will be bringing eight and for grant forward as part of the discretionary program. we are focused on freight. >> next question is or the entire panel. the fact act of 2015 created a new program to direct federal investment to critical freight infrastructure needs. the administration recently announced changes to that, that would reduce this program's emphasis on the most worthy projects and instead advantage projects with a low federal cost share. how does this new emphasis affect our ability to invest in critically needed freight infrastructure improvements?
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we are just going to go to those that have the lowest federal cost. anybody, how are we going to deal with this issue? >> as you start prioritizing had these and feels and regional organizations prioritize what their needs are. we don't have the luxury to analyze how much money we are getting back, or what the match is. really, the needs are really all over the place. from the manufacturer standpoint, we want to make sure the entire system is connected, i think that's important. we have to look at conductivity, as well. >> i agree with you about conductivity, i believe a multimodal approach that deals with it is critically needed. i want to ask you about the administration's approach to now prioritize freight
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infrastructure by looking at those advantage programs that have a loan settle culture versus what was done to look at the most worthy projects. that's quite a bit of a difference. it doesn't make any difference to you that we are going to target those projects that have the smallest amount of federal cost sharing? >> what we're looking at is the overlap. those that are most significant to the state, and the region will also draw additional support from local share. playing we are acting on a discretionary basis to look at those that we can bring local resources to bear where we can and try to up
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our share. >> since the federal government is reducing its responsibility and has been, you have to look at other local sources. do you agree that we should be looking at -- you said you turned it into a balance between those that are locally funded, larger cost chair, and also those that are the most worthy projects. i don't think that's were the administration has gone. they have not talked about the most worthy project. -- i yield thank you back, thank you. >> being another california issues we have a lot of that we are trying to overcome. the recent gas tax and legal registration tax that really -- the goal registration tax that really has been seen as controversial. when it's written a way to not add a no newkes -- a new lane,
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capacity, the money is being diverted to other things. else well is being invested in high-speed rail system in california, which tripled in price from its original form. and is still bound up by delays and all that. tax you talk about a gas increase of any sort, whether it's a statewide one or a federal one, the taxpayers will get fed up because they don't believe or trust the dollars are getting to the highways. that's what i'm very concerned about with california. the small amount will end up getting to the roads with none of it being new capacity. areas is how do we make dollars we already have in the stream go farther? in one of my other committees we worked a bill called hr 1654 the water supply permitting
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coordination act, which created a one-stop shop for cremating process by establishing a lead reviews, the lead for permits, licenses, and other divisions which have to do with surface water and large projects. what i'm looking forward to this panel here, i would imagine you would find that helpful doing other types of infrastructure building and repair. i'm going to start with mr. roberts on that. you mentioned the overlap was something that has brought frustration. what would be some helpful wouldw that be on timing, as well as making dollars go farther? >> let me first address some of the concerns which would tie into some of the efficiencies that you questioned relative to the brand-new bill that passed in california. inside that $50 billion bill
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there are instruments in there for congestion, there are instruments therefore reduced -- or increased efficiencies. i agree, an oversight group that can bring in different areas of the government to create more efficiency is appropriate. they just put on oversight group over the top of the dot to create more efficiencies and put it into that last bill. the reduction in the amount of money spent to create efficiencies going forward to be able to enact the additional revenue. >> you still have to do a multi-stop alphabet soup of other agencies, epa, wildlife fish and game, where else. >> what you're suggesting, there were some efficiencies put into the bill. i would agree having an oversight, the same thing would happen as we look into the environmental regulations,
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having some significant common oversight. the corps of for engineers, clean water act, or the eis studies. there's a necessary -- unnecessary things we are having to research. i think the fact that if you have common oversight, you create a lack of redundancies and implicitly, which will be more beneficial. >> what other things can we be doing federally to further streamline that would complement what we have been talking about? >> number one would be the environmental site. that's by far the quickest, most economical way to do it to tie in the corps of engineers to get for her for permitting process set up. the one-stop shop idea you were talking about, staffing up
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these agencies. we always have to find funding or have faith that staffing up will get the work done. do you think with a combined staffing up, as well as the efficiency we are talking about, would we need nearly as much staff? or will one-stop shopping accomplish both? >> i think the big concern, i would agree that having a lead agency, a one-stop shop would have great benefits. the concern is that the imperatives of the other agencies not be cut off by some artificial deadline or be given short shrift. i'm talking about smaller agencies like know what fisheries,- noah epa, the army corps, they have from parts of the law that they must apply. they need to look at it, unfortunately there's been a
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culture that to get their concerns attended to it by throwing up a red flag or stopping a project. that culture needs to change. if you are going to put people into these that this can be done smartly and were quickly, we do need to make sure they are sufficiently resourced to do the job. the concept of combining and streamlining with a staffing plan that gets funded would be on point. >> it seemed like a lot more simultaneous coordination with one of the smaller ones telling the other ones here's what we need, instead of a back-to-back chain making it five years with each one getting their turn. >> some positive steps have already been taken. as a result of the fact act and earlier authorities, they are allowed to pay money to the federal agencies to help them staff up. the staff people we pay for cannot work on our documents,
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but they can work on other documents. bring someone is to work on our documents. panelm impressed by the that has been assembled. i'm impressed by this body displaying bipartisanship. it seems like all hands are on deck, but still we are on the same place. where is the sense of urgency? where is the sense that many times do we have to listen to experts, to these eloquent speeches about how bipartisan we are. how many times do i have to hear make america first? knowing that if we check the box on investment in our infrastructure, we know that we
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will build -- we will make sure that we have jobs in america, creating a skilled workforce. this is global competition. i know there is an international bridge we are trying to build. they are talking about bringing in workforce from outside the country, because we don't have enough trained. how long are we, as this elected body who was sent here to do something will continue to sit here, and talk about it, then watch our administration defund and not give us the proper amount of money? clearly we have experts and are spaced enough to start moving -- are experienced enough to start moving the ball down the road. we know that we need to raise the gas tax, we know we need to have cpp, we know that is a part of the success of moving a transportation plan. we know that we need to work together. we have heard that allocation of
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funds and we keep playing with numbers. we just poll numbers out of the air to say today is one trillion, tomorrow is $600 million, where are we going to have that frustration that will move us forward and say now is time to do it. i just have one quick question, it's not really a question, but i needed for the record -- i need it for the record. mr. booker, you have been one of the faces of building this workforce and creating jobs. record, ifte for the we ask this country and elected body and administration keep our word about investing in >> tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. and when you do it with long-term stability of infrastructure funding, you are
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building the middle class. you are building skills. people it will last them a lifetime. our training system is based on joint labor-management participation where we voluntarily collectively with our contractor partners invests over $1 billion a year year in a training system that goes on through hands-on training to our members. and how they get into the middle class and how they stay in the middle class is to have a full-time job. they do their training at night. they do to turn on the weekend. it's all learn while you earn system. i do represent over to my american workers in the construction industry today, and with long-term commitments, long-term shoring up of the highway transit fund of other mechanisms is going to allow us to grow that, to make in a baseline and allows to grow. we are teaching skills for people that is going to last them a lifetime. >> the fact of the matter is the average age of a skilled trade worker in america is 53.
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we are facing a crisis in america where we are going to see a whole workforce retiring and we have not invested. while we're having this frustrating conversation about how we invest in our infrastructure, we are sitting here watching a workforce diminished in front of us. if we get the funding we also are going to have to stay focused on the fact that unemployment in america, minorities, veterans, women, it's this huge middle-class opportunity in training and the skilled trades in the building trades. and so here it is if we really are about making america great, not again, the continuing our pathway of being a great country, we have to build that workforce. and we are going to have to get serious about this debate. i do not want another panel of experts talking to me. i want another panel of experts engaging as we start putting those shovels and the ground, as
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we start employing these young people to replace this aging workforce and to really and vast. -- and to really invest. when we travel abroad it is embarrassing the way that other countries that we consider not as sophisticated, not as advanced as us, are investing in their infrastructure, their rails, the roads. here we are in america sitting around still kicking the can. time to go to work. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to the witnesses for being here today. we know that all roads lead to somewhere, and where there's a lot of talk about urban and rural, but really the roads connect our urban societies and andrural societies together urban areas, a lot of on the east coast, are highly dependent on rural roadways to get goods
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and services to the population centers and also to move manufactured products out of cities and across the country. we all understand the importance of that. mr. mckenna, your state of missouri is to the north of arkansas. you've got interstate 49 that runs along the western side of missouri up to kansas city. interstate 49 is a connector between new orleans and kansas city. the remaining undone part of interstate 49 happens to be in my district. can you talk a little bit about the reports of completing these projects and how, can even though you had this beautiful highway from really from fort all the way up to kansas city and from arkansas down to to new orleans, what having that tulane curvy road undone means to the rest of the transportation on interstate 49?
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>> thank you. great question. as you may to have about five miles of interstate to complete, kind of a combined project between missouri and arkansas. and it just shows, we are not complete even with the building of the interstate system in its original capacity. but the benefits to the region itself, very substantially growing region in that part of the country, and the movement of freight and the movement of people and economic well-being of that region is critically tied to that particular completion. we are some $35-$40 million away from the completion point and that's one when we allocate limited resources, both states r 30e fou ears, --
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years, one state has had the funding and then ready and the other state hasn't. we can either try to place it in that a couple of times. it's frustrating for us. i know it's frustrating for you in your region but these of the types of investments that can go a long way to really connect the people of the region as well as beyond the region as you said going all the way to new orleans. and really connecting to the rest of the world to the ports in new orleans. do you believe the federal government gives an honest look at the entire system when they are designating funds are these new projects? or do you think there could be improvements? >> i think the main issue is the amount of money coming into the top. what we have in the region, we look at it and have discussions frequently that we have equitably distributed dissatisfaction throughout the whole system, that we are fair in our allocation. it's just not enough being allocated. we try to make the best decisions we can but we're focused on critical maintenance and taking care of the existing system and preservation beyond
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expansion at this point right now, and we need both. >> shifting gears a bit, talk about different kinds of funding streams, i know from serving in my state legislature that in arkansas, state and local taxes are collected on construction materials on projects that are funded with federal dollars. now, mr. mckenna, i think missouri has an exemption for that where they exempt construction materials from state and local taxes, but since the communities for these infrastructure projects are built benefit from infrastructure projects themselves, do you think would be fair to ask states and local entities not to collect taxes on construction materials for projects that are funded with federal dollars? and i like to ask mr. roberts that question as well. >> i think what we really try to do is we do have a local cost share, so that communities can actually raise local taxes.
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what we have seen, our communities have actually invested those in the federal system, in the state system beyond their local municipalities. we see a counter act, counteraction that occurs so it kind of balance is about. >> ultimately, the state and local taxes are being paid with the federal tax dollars if it's a federally funded project. mr. roberts. >> i am not familiar with a location where the materials that would put into our projects are not taxed at the local level. so that would be surprising to me. >> one proposal that i may put out there is to exempt construction material from state and federal taxes when federal tax dollars are funding those projects so you have more money going for concrete and asphalt and bridges, rather than going into state and local tax coffers. yield back.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for holding this hearing on the critical need to increase investment in transportation infrastructure. and i am proud to join you and ranking member norton, 235 of our bipartisan colleagues in sending a letter to ways and means committee urging them to fix the highway trust fund revenue problem in order to provide sustained and sufficient funding transportation. thank you to all the witnesses, your testimony, highlighting the need for robust funding both maintain ing our existing infrastructure and new projects. your testimony highlights the american society of engineers report card that our nation's roads have a d in our transit system has a d.
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american society of and civil engineers note there is an 836 billion, billion, backlog of bridge capital need with an additional 123 billion backlog bridge repair. the 90 billion backlog on transit maintenance and the california legislator work to address transportation funding gap by passing the five-point to billion every year transportation for ten years but it was passed on a bipartisan basis and two thirds of our legislation voted for it signed by the governor in april and now some of our colleagues are challenging in court.
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surprisingly, they are pursuing a ballot measure to repeal this transportation funding. i ask unanimous consent to insert into the record letters from california fix our roads coalition and the transportation construction coalition opposing repeal of sp1. >> without objection. so ordered. >> can you discuss the infrastructure challenges facing california and do you believe sp1 is needed to address those challenges? how many jobs is it creating and and what was the impact be in repealing sp1 on our economy? >> i would be happy to because i think sp1 is one of the biggest legislative action that i've seen in many, many years in the state of california. the backlog of work in california, as i mentioned before in excess of $100 billion itself in the state of california. it has been continually underfunded and actually in the
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last several years it has been reduced. this is a tragedy and i think what is happening in the state of california is a microcosm of what is happening across the country. i want to go on record and make it clear that the legislator stood up and did what we are hoping our federal government will do, as well. they use, as you suggest, a bipartisan approach to it brought in by discussion for several years, the governor, leader of the state of california put together a program at the end and they used a host of fees and i think this is the important part. they did not focus just on gas tax. it has gas tax, diesel tax, registration fees for electrical vehicles, itrid used a host of opportunities which have been talking about all day here, this morning, relative to making sure that we diversify the opportunity to create funding mechanism. i think it would have been absolutely devastating or will be of any kind of a repeal effort is successful because today in california we are in gridlock and there was a question asked earlier about
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this does not address congestion , it does address congestion. part of the congestion problem that we have across the country is the fact that we have it properly maintain the systems that we have today which is a significant issue in itself and this is why i said previously that if we don't maintain what we have to begin with you should not be putting more in place because you can't maintain a properly either. i am excited with the comment that something of the significant long-term ten years, $52 billion will create an opportunity for people to move into the business of being in that industry and creating careers so they can put money and food on the table for their families and not just a short-term stimulus but a long-term, $52 billion program in the state of california that will change the construction industry for decades to come. i want to congratulate the legislator and governor for what i think is one of the biggest and strongest acts they have
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done in years. >> thank you very much. that is very true and we are looking forward to more funding and expansion of our freeways because some of them are more than 50 years old and they are falling apart and not able to handle the type of transportation that is currently needed to get to work, get to deliver and do all the other things. i find it sad that it took me and i was working for old mortar -- i was working for ford motor at the time and it took me 17 minutes from my house to my job. twenty years ago and now it takes me one hour and a half. it is important that we address the congestion but also keep in mind that we needed to address the backlog in the operation and maintenance so that we have enough funding in reserve to be able to take care of that also. thank you very much and i yield back, mr. chair. >> mr. woodall. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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i want to talk about what we can talk about to restore some taxpayer confidence in the system and i think about all the members that we see working hard every day of the week and we have all had constituents call with those stories and i think the three guys work and i see you guys stand around and i don't understand it and preliminary engineering started on that road back in 2005 and folks have been seen orange cones out there for one decade and they wonder what is going on and why can't we get something done? what they know is that russell mcmurray who leads our stated -- believes our state dot presided over a private bridge burned down in collapsed in georgia. three spans of the bridge, not a square bridge but a parabola of the bridge there and we replaced it in six weeks. i didn't have one tea party, one conservative, one taxpayer advocate and i didn't have one
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constituent call and tell me they were angry about the $3 million performance bonus that we gave to cw matthews for getting the job done six weeks, not just a six-week project but six weeks early on a 12 week project and delivered what taxpayers believed was a value for their dollar. you all represent a different facet of the industry and i tell that story all the time because it tells me what we can do. democratic mayor, bipartisan regional commission, republican governor all coming together to come together to make this happen. what is the story in your space that you would have me tell folks that if you trust us with another ten or $20 billion in trust fund we will not just flush it down the toilet but will get you real value for real money. who has something to lift me up today? >> i will give you two examples, representative. number one, in missouri we have the same
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circumstance. major flooding in the spring with 384 roads closed. our maintenance crews in our construction partners had a 300 of those open in five days. we are down to just three and it will be complete by the end of this month so all 384 roads will be open within six months of being closed and we also have record of of achievement, 4661 construction projects have been completed by missouri dot and our construction partners in the last ten years. 94% on time or early and 7% under budget and that's $1 billion in savings and gone right back to the construction problem. >> 7% under budget? >> 7%. >> i would look to the project in georgia where we are building units in waynesboro, georgia. not an easy place to get to. we've got 4000 construction workers to go to work there
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every day. i have spent more time than i probably should have down on the job site and when you go around and meet with them, whether on that project or any other project, our members, construction workers want to work. they don't want to sit around. the worst thing you could do on a ten hour shift is only be busy for four hours. our partnership with our contractor partners, how do you man your work and manage that day and how do you do that and if you go down to waynesboro you will see 4000 people come out of the project every day and they can look behind and see they are building the future power for this country and they are proud of what they are doing everyday. >> we thought they would be trendsetters and it remains to be seen -- >> i don't think they will. >> i would point to projects that are transformative and i will give you this example. we are surrounded by both water and mountains in the puget sound region and as a result, we can take a lot off a person's commute by having them avo
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id either the mountains or especially the water. we just open to additional stops to about a year ago this past march to a neighborhood called capitol hill and a stadium where the washington huskies play. we are continuing to go north from there. the ability to avoid the waterways and the roadways meant that to stop segments for many people in the heart of downtown seattle in more than 20 minutes on a good day could be 40 minutes on a bad day to eight minutes. it has completely changed commuting patterns. our light rail ridership spike beyond expectations with two stops. it was a lot of money, took time but boy it has transformed that region. >> i think about the folks who put in the international airport in 45 years ago and it transformed the city of atlanta that no one could have ever imagined and i see the trucking association sitting on the back road. their members were willing to
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pay more because they see the difference in to maintain the roadways. i hope as we go on you all will partner with me with those stories. it makes all the difference in the world when you can feel like you are on a winning team instead of on a losing team and i know folks are proud to show up to work every day. i want the taxpayers to be every bit as proud of that work going on. your members deserve that and your industry deserves that and we can do that together. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen, for your appearance today and for your testimony. many people voted for donald trump because he promised to make america great again by growing the economy and creating high paying middle-class jobs by rebuilding america's crumbling infrastructure. isn't that correct, mr. booker? >> that's correct. >> mr. mckenna, do you believe that we can make america great again by rebuilding our roads, bridges and tunnels if we
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replace real federal gas tax revenues with public, private partnerships? >> i believe it requires that we do both. >> do you believe that public/private partnerships alone can do it? >> when i look to my left on this panel, public private partnerships has existed in transportation for over 100 years. state, federal government in our construction industries are already in place. >> well, recently "the washington post" and "the wall street journal" reported that president trump stated that he no longer believes that public /private partnerships will solve our infrastructure funding needs -- do you do disagree with president trump? >> i believe it is part of the tool in the toolbox and it's a procurement method and it's not necessarily a funding method but one of the tools that might help
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particular projects in particular regions of the country. >> well, my colleague from illinois, my good friend representative davis asked you all to raise your hands if you believe that raising the gas tax alone will take care of the problems with the highway trust fund and it was duly noted that no one raised their hand. none of you on the panel raised your hand. i want to to raise your hand if you believe the federal gas tax will remain viable for fixing our crumbling infrastructure, given the fact that we have 253 million gas powered vehicles on the roads in the country today versus only 540,000 electric vehicles. raise your hand if you believe that the tax, the federal gas tax will remain viable to fix our crumbling infrastructure.
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four out of five with the -- the transit guy not raising his hand and i would like to ask him ,bout that in the second probably for reasons unrelated to the answer to the question but i want -- let the record reflect that you all believe that the gas tax will be viable. now, raise your hand if you believe the gas tax should be increased. i see three, four, i see four and i see a maybe out of one of the four, mr. mccarty. >> yes, i'm hesitant because i think it has to be part of an overall solution. it can be part of the package -- >> that's not my question.
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my question is whether you believe that since 1993, gas tax has been at its current rate and do you think it should be increased? that is my only question. you did raise your hand so do you wish to retract it at this time? >> no, i think it has to be part of the package. we are looking for something sustainable, long-term and a fuel tax will be one of those things that we have to do. >> all right. so, would you please solve this mystery for us, why you did not raise your hand? >> it's part policy and part parochial. the state of washington is just increased the gas tax, the second increment of and ient gas tax increase worked for a board of 18, 17 elected officials and they do not as i know have a position on
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raising the gas tax. i would say this transit is funded from a mix of trust fund dollars and general fund dollars and in my written testimony i talk about the need for transit expansion in america requires us to revisit the mix between programs but i don't believe that all of the problems will be handled by a gas tax increase and i think we probably should address the problems on a comprehensive basis, perhaps some combination of fuel taxes and i've also talked about the fact that washington state is one of the few states that will be piloting vehicle user charges. the committee needs to take a hard look at what will be sustainable because the one thing you will hear unanimously from the panel is everyone wants sustainability and predictability in the program. >> thank you for that response but i will ask whether or not these vehicle user fees are sufficient in rural areas?
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>> i think the debate actually often goes in the other direction which is to say rural users use the roadways more by definition and how long it will take a rural resident to get to church or a shopping center resident.urban the concern i have heard is that these charges can work a hardship on rural america so i don't know that it works in the case. thank you. >> mr. larson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. being not on the subcommittee but being allowed to participate, i much appreciate that and under committee rules i also appreciate what it's like to be a freshman once. i remember that one day in the value of a five minute rule. i am one of those voters who
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voted for the friday of taxes st three ased for we call it and one of the issues that came up during the debate was about the federal obligation and we were going to do all of it and taxpayers would carry all of this but there would be a federal obligation but it would not be the full burden or half a burden. now or this debate with the 2018 budget moving forward for .ompletion of st 2 how are you on handling the uncertainty of the 2018 budget that says the federal obligation might not be there to move forward.
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>> in a variety of measures we are first evaluating for the benefit of what our options would be a we have said definitively that we would get to lynwood just as we would get to federal way and beyond into tacoma and onto redmond. the concern is will the federal partnership requiring local taxpayers to pay far more and in so doing delay the project. we have already had to delay the delivery date for getting to lynnwood from 2023 and that was in part because of the uncertainty surrounding the full funding grants and the timeframe in which we might get it. this recent appropriation cycle is a very good example. we were not successful in securing dollars for lynnwood . there is funding in the senate bill we believe lynnwood would be eligible for and we have to watch the needle carefully,
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watch each step in the process, work with the fta and work with our delegation and work with other transit agencies like ours and this is not just about sound transit. there are a number of other transit agencies and similarly they expect a federal partnership and it was reasonable for them to do so. no one expected the administration to turn off the funding spigot is no and ministration has done in the last five that i have worked with. but we are looking at our financing options while working hard with members like yourself and the rest of the delegation in moving forward with a reasonable federal cost match. >> so, just to put into perspective on that again, the federal government federal -- the federal government turned off the federal funding spigot but the local taxpayers spigot is still running. >> absolutely. >> their obligation is still going, with an expectation that there will be some help. >> it is precisely what we told
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the voters and you for the earlier complaint about being called out of the presidents budget as reasons to terminate the participation but they also called out los angeles and they called out denver and the fact that all three of our regions pass local tax measures to fund transit but the reality is all three of those had an expected federal component when we brought that to the voters. >> the federal component that you had already talked to the federal authorities about. >> in the case of lynnwood we've been admitted to the engineering faced with the commitment of $1.74 billion and this was it out and that is why the presidents budget proposal came as more than a shock. >> you used [inaudible] quite a bit and that's the fact act and expanded the use of [inaudible] as a non- direct federal funding mechanism. can you talk briefly about how you used [inaudible] as a tool? >> sure. it's a very valuable
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tool especially for agencies that have strong credit and we pride ourselves and we have the strongest credit rating of any transit agency in the country. we used it to lower the cost to the taxpayers so we have what we believe is the only master credit with to field loans and that by itself over the course of those four loans will save the puget sound two or $3 million in borrowing costs and it's a great tool. >> what portion of that is mine and my wife's? >> it benefits everyone. >> finally, i will note that when the i-35 bridge collapsed and for the record if we can get back to when we had the collapse in minneapolis and that
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triggered congress when we did the next transportation bill to write into the emergency bridge funding provisions and then ask bill some emergency permitting procedures that were then used when the other bridge collapsed in my district and they were used in georgia as well, as part of that collapse. is there, from your perspective, for the record, are there provisions in that emergency set of provisions for emergency bridge repair that can be be used as a lesson for some permitting and streamlining as we try to craft the bill and look at permit and streamlining. could you come back to that for the record, i'd appreciate it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i have a question and it's parochial for the committee overall. missouri has received grants for
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the service transportation funding program for 16 and 17 and i'd be curious if you could tell the committee what the progress is and how that is moving along and what your thoughts are. >> thank you, mr. chairman. yes, we did note that as part there was $95 million available and for looking at alternatives for the fuel tax we felt that our neighbors to the left and right were doing a pretty good job of exercising the view toward vehicle miles traveled and we wanted to look at something else. missouri,king at, in the notion of a fuel economy based adjustment to a registration fee. it's another tool in the toolbox and it's another means of strengthening our own revenue base in missouri. the first round of the grant we received, the small grant 250,000, that was to study the
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demographics of the registration database and that has gone very well. we should be done and conclude with that in december. we did just get the very good news that we have the next round which is about $2.7 million and we will be taking that information that we have gained in the first round and really looking at the registration database in the state itself and looking to implement to implement that registration fee. it would be a big upgrade. >> we have talked about the solvency of the trust fund moving forward and i know mr. schuster and i believe that we have to do something different because the gas tax is extraordinarily reggressive and it will get more so in more so in more so. we are very interested in alternative and what we can look at moving forward. second round, i know you have a question, go ahead.
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>> i wanted to clear out a couple of things what they meant it was called a bipartisan bill and there was 120 california legislators during the assignment assembly and senate with one republican voted for sv1 in the senate. if you want to call that a bipartisan bill, i don't have a lot to say about that but and that individual turns out and got a railroad project for that individual's district so under what is known as #pixar roads 30% of the funding of sv1 will go for other things beside roads like rail transit, bikeways, pedestrian paths, parks and recreation, university research, workforce development programs and so when we go to the well and you don't even as the taxpayers because the applicable ballot measures that were looking at and maybe they will get asked but tell the taxpayers to pay more for the roads and the a 30% going for other things
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and it isn't bipartisan and you will run into more problems telling california legislators to vote for a new deal to force more upon them. again, 20 cents in diesel tax with truckers are already paying yet truckers will not see improvement from the improvement tax. families, probably see about a $500 increase in total costs every year for a multivehicle family and have work or school to get their kids to. there is real cost involved as we sit here and talk about increasing vehicle tax and whether it is federal or state project. finally, they had to even change the ballot summary because of the way it was rigged by the attorney general in california. they went to court and they had to change the misleading ballot summary of what one of them were getting to qualified or has qualified to go in front of the voters. there's a lot of funny business
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with what is being placed in front of them and they can be honest about what it does. that said, we're talking about who will bear the cost of the burden of paying for additional roads into the highway trust fund or what have you and the issue of electric cars has come up a couple of times on the panel here and in california's bill there is an increase for $100 because you can't track fuel cost for electric cars. it doesn't even kick in until 2020 for the electric vehicles in california. meanwhile, everyone else is saying 175 or approximately that plus the gas tax. we can't even seem to even out the burden on electric vehicles. let me throw this to mr. mckenna here. as we get more into the trust fund with increasing numbers of hybrids and electrical vehicles and subsidized by state and federal money sometimes several thousands of dollars due to the
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incentives to buy those vehicles they contribute a small fraction of what the cost is for using the same roads. see, mr. mckenna, across the board besides california delays, what do you see in other states what do you -- to try to have we are off the highways and roads same as others but not paying any other part of that burden. >> thank you for the customer that is what we are trying to address with the grant program that chairman graves mentioned. we are actually looking at a fuel economy adjustment to the registration fees so if i am receiving 40 miles a gallon on my vehicle and you are receiving 20 and we both drive 10,000 miles you are paying double what i am. our attempt to this grant program is to look at the ability to create registration fee that would balance those two. in fact, all users would be paying the same. >> on one hand that is funny
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because we have been pushed and prodded into driving smaller more efficient vehicles and all that and the money is running out into the trust fund and it's going back the other way. how people watch what we do either at the state or federal level and i wonder what the heck they're supposed to do. it's got to be confusing. with that, mr. chairman, i will yield back. >> i appreciate and thank you for having his hearing. i apologize because i had to step out for a good bit of the hearing but i did hear your testimony earlier. as we move forward in building an infrastructure package i think something that is important for us to look at where we are spending infrastructure dollars today as the federal government. i can go through and name
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various programs through obviously agencies like department of transportation in corps of engineers but many other agencies that are spending billions of dollars that i think are perhaps a bit of the radar. agencies like the department of agriculture, fema, department of commerce, department of the hud, and many others. do any of you have experience in using multiple funding streams in advancing infrastructure solution that you are working on? does that question makes sense? meaning integrating various federal funding streams to build a transportation project in your state. >> yes, representative. we actually use multiple funding streams for almost every construction project we do large or small. it's a combination of federal , state, and local funds and we have a cost share program that can leverage local transportation development district sales tax. >> let me clarify. certainly you will be integrating state and local
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funding streams with federal because there is a cost share on these programs but have you brought other federal streams to the table? >> we do try to work with resource agencies and i can't think of any specific ones right now but i know we have done that and i can provide some for the record. >> i would appreciate. could anyone else -- >> we have certainly combined dollars from the federal transit administration with things like congestion mitigation from the federal highway administration and i think what you will often see is dollars from other agencies pay for some of the augmentation that surrounds our projects like cdbg through hud and development of what a community might do around a real station. a rail
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it's part of an overall structure but it might be considered segmented project. >> mr. chairman, as we move forward and continue having discussions of them structure i think it is critical that we have a clear inventory of federal efforts that are underway now under these agencies that are advancing different infrastructure objectives and in many cases perhaps objectives that aren't as high-priority as others. if we are spending money and making up something and if we are building recreational opportunities in some states using an infrastructure is that really advancing a federal objective? infrastructure package i think a lot of people are expecting to see this rain of federal dollars that will come into the states but i think one of the first things we need to do is get an inventory of where these many dollars now in a better understanding of how those dollars are being spent, if there truly advancing a federal priority or not and doing a better job at truly funding projects for funding initiatives within the federal government as opposed to taking a shotgun approach where we sprinkle dollars out in insufficient amounts all over the united states.
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let me ask another question. you talked about -- you obviously have a strong transit background, your written on a number of your rail vehicles in the seattle area. how do you do your planning? you talk about how you're able to project the number of cars coming off the roads as a result of different investments you're making. how do you integrate your planning with your state dot to make sure that you are making complementary investments with your transit dollars as compared to other highway dollars? >> that's a great question and we are frankly proud of our record and how we did this. first, the legislation that authorizes us we have to go to the legislator to go to the voters to get authority and as for revenue increase and a system plan. that was effectively the state highway bill. we knew what the state plans were before we then went out to the voters and we have the added benefit of the state transportation secretary is a member of my board. we worked hand in glove with
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them in part because of the projects we are running new rail extensions are actually happening over interstate right-of-way adjacent to either i-5 and we build a lean like -- and we are building light rail over a floating bridge and that is interstate 90. so we are working in fact with the dot staff and they will now be co- located on our office spaces so we can work even better together so there's always improvement to make on the integration but we only want the taxpayers to pay for the benefit once and we are working hard to make sure that takes place. >> thank you. i have a couple other questions that i will submit in writing. i yield back. >> seeing no other questions i want to thank all of our witnesses for being here today and for your testimony. i would also ask unanimous consent that the record of today's hearing will remain open until such time as our witnesses have provided answers to questions that have been committed to them and i would ask unanimous consent that the
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record remain open for 15 days for additional comments and information submitted by members and witnesses and be included in today's record. with that objective, it is so ordered, and no other members have anything to add, the committee stands adjourned. thank you. [background noises] >> the house is out next week but the senate returns to take up its budget resolution and tax reform.


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