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tv   Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Testifies on Presidents 2021 Budget...  CSPAN  February 28, 2020 5:08am-7:00am EST

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♪ the south carolina primary is saturday. join us to hear the candidates' reaction to the results. live coverage starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, on demand on, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. secretaryrtation elaine chao testify before a house appropriations subcommittee on the president's 2021 budget request.
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during the hearing, she discussed infrastructure projects, highway and rail safety, investment into the theon's ports, and discretionary grant programs that address the needs of rural and urban areas. rep. price: the subcommittee will come to order. good morning. i'm pleased to kick off our subcommittee hearing season for this and other subcommittees by
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examining the fiscal year 2021 budget request for the department of transportation. secretary chao, welcome back and thank you for joining us. glad to have you here. infrastructure serves as the foundation for our economy and our quality of life. it facilitates the flow of goods and services, connects people to employment and educational opportunities, and plays a significant role in our nation's overall welfare. there's no question our country requires a massive infusion of investment to repair deficient bridges, restore transit systems to a state of good repair, improve our ports, and build new runways for our airports. we must also make forward-looking investments in new services across all modes, including projects that expand intercity passenger rail and improve options for cyclists and pedestrians, with a renewed focus on safety, on environmental sustainability, and on resiliency in the face of climate change and other perils. on this front, it's especially
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disappointing to see the department continue to push a deeply flawed rulemaking seeking to roll back fuel efficiency standards developed under the previous administration. if finalized, the proposal would increase pollution and emissions resulting in higher public health expenditures and cost consumers billions at the pump. i urge the department to reverse course. after seemingly endless trump administration "infrastructure weeks" that have failed to materialize into meaningful action, this subcommittee has done its part to boost investment under both republican and democratic house majorities. during the last three fiscal years -- beginning under the chairmanship of my good friend mario diaz-balart of florida -- we have appropriated nearly $16 billion above authorized levels for highway, transit, rail, maritime, and aviation infrastructure programs. i'm proud of what this subcommittee and its members
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have achieved. at the same time, we know -- i often call this is a "down payment" it is an apt metaphor. but it is not the comprehensive approach we need. we need to find real "pay-fors" to balance the highway trust fund and to put us on a more sustainable path forward. as part of the budget submission, the administration has put forward an $810 billion ten-year reauthorization proposal. this is certainly an improvement over previous plans that relied on unrealistic assumptions about private investment and sought to push costs onto cash-strapped states and localities. but it still falls well short of funding levels proposed by transportation leaders in the house and senate, and the plan lacks significant details about policy, programs, and -- most importantly -- how we pay for it. it's one thing to keep your options open, but with the
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expiration of the fast act already upon us, the president needs to get serious about negotiating with congress and finding new revenues for the infrastructure that virtually everyone agrees is necessary for our shared prosperity. turning now to the administration's fiscal 2021 request, the department proposes roughly $89 billion in total budgetary resources, which is $2 billion, or 2.3%, more than the fiscal 2020 enacted level. however, the request for discretionary budget authority is $21.9 billion, which is $2.9 billion, or 12%, below last year -- a strange move for a president who has posed as a champion of infrastructure. there are some bright spots, including another robust request for the oversubscribed tiger/build grant program. i'm also especially pleased to see funding for new transit
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projects in the capital investment grants pipeline. i will note, however, that the c.i.g. program at the end of the 2019 fiscal year had roughly $1.2 billion in unallocated and unobligated carryover funds. combined with the fiscal 2020 funds that we just appropriated, that total rises to roughly $2 billion, essentially a full year of c.i.g. appropriations. we know there are many worthy transit projects across the country seeking this funding. we need additional assurances -- backed by action -- that the department will administer this program in an expeditious manner consistent with congressional intent. i also have serious concerns about the treatment of rail programs in the budget, which would slash investment in amtrak's busy northeast corridor, eliminate the federal-state partnership for state of good repair program, and shift the cost of long-distance service onto states. these proposals were roundly rejected on a bicameral, bipartisan basis last year.
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we hoped they would reoccur in the budget request. unfortunately, the budget also eliminates the popular port infrastructure development program. it cuts nhtsa's vehicle safety programs by nearly 10% when we are grappling with new safety challenges posed by automated vehicles, large trucks, and distracted driving. finally, while the request would eliminate supplemental airport grants, it does propose $35.5 million to augment faa aviation safety activities in the wake of the boeing max disasters to hire new talent with critical skills, increase oversight, and bolster data analysis. we provided similar investments in the fiscal 2020 omnibus package to ensure our skies remain safe for the flying public. we need to learn more about this proposal and how the agency plans to use these resources. so, secretary chao, we look forward to your testimony today and working with you to ensure that d.o.t. has the funding it needs to carry out its important
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mission. now i would like to turn to our distinguished ranking member, mr. diaz-balart. funny remarks he want -- for any remarks he wants to make. rep. diaz-balart: thank you for holding this hearing. if this is anything like last year, it will be a great hearing season under the chairmanships of mr. price. i like to say you are the second best chairman of the subcommittee -- all kidding aside, he has done a phenomenal job and this has been an attitude of working together. it has really been a partnership gate i am grateful for the way you have handled your chairmanship. i just need to thank you again and welcome you back to this subcommittee, secretary chao. this is the fourth appearance t.h.u.d.he
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together, we have made significant progress, improving the nation's roads, coas, railways, and airports. in recent years, when we have had these budget negotiations, they have emphasized infrastructure investments. and the largest portion of new infra structure investments have been at the department of ,ransportation that you so ably frankly, lead. i have to tell you you have been a remarkable partner in this effort. i've said this to you privately and expressed it publicly before, but i think it merits being repeated, as well as your team, by the way, and your staff. they have done a remarkable job working day in and day out to get those resources to our state and our localities, but doing so while protecting the taxpayer in an efficient manner. both you and your staff have done a remarkable job. our communities are already
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seeing the results of these investments -- improved transportation networks that help our businesses create jobs and improve the quality of life of the folks we represent. toam secretary, you help celebrate one such example just earlier this month in florida when you announced a grant or what miami which will dramatically increase the capacity of the port to provide the economic benefits for the entire region. and i want to paraphrase you -- you have said it many times -- my staff reminds me many times. you talk about how ports are the engine of economic growth in our country, and it is so true. again, thank you for your leadership and vision in this project and working with this subcommittee to roll out what is program new port development created by this subcommittee. have, no surprise -- you done a great job enrolling out
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that new program. i am pleased to see that your budget's request places high priority on d.o.t. safety mission. the request of the federal aviation administration of $17.5 billion, including full support for air traffic control workforce and target investments for aviation safety. it will help us modernize the air traffic control system, improving safety and efficiency, which has been a high-priority of the chairman and myself, and it has been your priority as well. the transit capital investment grants are slated to receive $1.9 billion and that request. $775 millionional for new projects. i will tell you that, working with my constituents in southern florida and parts of miami, i've
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seen firsthand how complicated transit projects are to come together, and i am pleased that we have such a strong role partner in that effort. i believe that this subcommittee has a special role to play in advancing our shared priorities for transportation infrastructure. i've said repeatedly that the t.h.u.d. bill frankly is the infrastructure bill until something else may hopefully come along. this is evident in the major investments we have made in recent years through this subcommittee. i, however, recognize that there is a major task ahead of us as we face the expiration of the fast act at the end of this fiscal year. madam secretary, you have a bold proposal in the a smith -- in the investment of billions of dollars over the next 10 years. i know you're working through
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the details of this legislative proposal, and i look forward to hearing about those efforts today and in the months that, and working with you on what is a very, very bold proposal. our infrastructure investments over the next decade will help determine america's role in the world and the next century. but the task clearly will not be easy. so i will again call on my colleagues and the administration to come together and do this jointly for the good of the american people to get this job done. grateful for the attitude you have always had of inclusiveness, of thinking outside the box, of looking at things in new and fresh ways and not just assume that because they were done for some way for so many years that it is the best way, and i have no doubt that that tradition you have brought to the leadership of your position will continue to bear fruit for the american
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people. again, thank you for your parents today, but, more important the, for your service to our nation and with that, i yield back. rep. price: thank you. now we turn to the chair of our full committee, ms. lowey. rep. lowey: thank you very much, chairman price and ranking member diaz-balart, for holding this important hearing. and welcome, secretary chao, and thank you for being here today. secretary chao, you and i had a very productive meeting two weeks ago. and i was very impressed by your candor, your knowledge, your willingness to work in partnership. it's my hope that we can maintain and grow this very positive relationship. and thank you for being here today. however, i must note several gross inadequacies in the budget
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including a $374.5 million decrease for northeast corridor grants to amtrak. a $90 million decrease to capital investment grants. elimination of federal-state partnership for state of good repair grants. no proposal to pay for crucial spending for roads, bridges, and transit that comes from the highway trust fund. these decreases and eliminations would seriously jeopardize safety of the traveling public. these proposals are opposed by the american people and bipartisan majorities in both chambers. while this proposal is better than in previous years, the committee will continue prioritizing safety. as i mentioned during our meeting, i am very pleased that the department has made the portal north bridge eligible to
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advance toward funding, and i look forward to seeing that happen soon, and i think you very much -- thank you very much for your efforts. however, neglecting to advance the hudson tunnel project is a political decision that endangers the safety of travelers who pass through the tunnel every day. our current infrastructure is in such desperate need of repair, but preparing for the future must also mean ensuring continuity of service, sustaining safety, and increasing capacity. an unplanned closure of the hudson tunnel would be disastrous for our economy and disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of daily commuters. in fact, closure of one of the two tubes in the existing tunnel -- a partial shutdown -- has been estimated to cost the national economy $16 billion.
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the bottom line is that, while the hudson tunnel project, and entire gateway program, is integral to new york and new jersey, it's so much more than that. if we do not make the necessary investments in the gateway program today, our nation's greatest economy and security will suffer. so, i look forward to a productive discussion today. this budget request, however, does not reflect the good work i know we can do together. congress has consistently rejected the administration proposed cuts that would shortchange our national infrastructure, instead passing responsible funding levels. so i want to thank you again for being here today. i look forward to your testimony and i look forward to
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working together. thank you. rep. price: thank you. now i recognize the ranking number of the full committee. >> thank you. --ould like to think ranking chairman price and ranking member diaz-balart. welcome. it has been a great honor to work with you over the years, particularly in your role as secretary of the transportation. i remember, as a first year member of congress, bringing you request forpossible my district, and you made it possible. transportation is greatly important to my constituents. i appreciate the work you and your staff have done to make life better for the people who live and work in my district. i appreciate this administration's emphasis on reducing regulatory burdens and cutting red tape, and i look
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over to hearing what you have to say about those efforts. i also appreciate the safety of our highways and railroads and air traffic systems. they remain a major priority. i know you personally focused on safety mission. i look forward to hearing more about your achievements in that area as well. we all know there is much work to be done to ensure the safety of our roads and railways and our skies. i look forward to hearing from you in how we can continue to work together to achieve these goals through responsible investments in infrastructure. thank you for your continued work and the help you give to people like me. i look forward to hearing from you. rep. price: thank you. madam secretary, please proceed. we will of course place your entire statement in the record, but we will look forward for your presentation -- to your presentation for five minutes or so.
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then we will have plenty of questions. please proceed. thank you. sec. chao: thank you, chairman price, ranking member diaz-balart. chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the president's fiscal year 2021 budget request for the department of transportation. the president is requesting a total of $89 billion to support transportation programs -- an overall 2% increase above funds provided in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations act. this represents the largest increase in the budget of the u.s. department of transportation. this funding will enable the department to continue our important work in providing americans with safe and
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dependable transportation, help deliver infrastructure more quickly, and prepare for the future and era of rapid innovation. the president is requesting $1 trillion to rebuild, restore, and renew our nation's infrastructure. this request includes two parts. first, the president's budget envisions a 10 year resurfacing proposal which will provide a and hundred billion dollars for funding. the $1 trillion infrastructure proposal that this administration has. in this proposal, we recommend an authorization that provides for more flux ability for the state and other stakeholders. it includes program and policy changes that will help deliver modern infrastructure more
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rapidly while ensuring that both rural and urban areas receive the assistance they need. provideson, it significant vestments for rebuilding and repairing highways and bridges by using flexible grants and modern, innovative finance tools that will help to get project moving more quickly. it is also time to end and reasonable delays that keep communities from getting the infrastructure they need. presents a wide variety of infrastructure needs benefiting both urban and rural areas. toward this end, the president's discretionary budget includes $1 billion for the infrastructure for rebuilding america, or the "infra" grant programs and includes an additional $1 billion for the better utilizing
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investments to leverage development, or "build" grant program. and with respect to transit, the president's budget includes this administration's largest request ever for the federal transit administration's capital investment grant program, $1.9 billion. this request funds the current portfolio of transit projects that have signed full funding grant agreements. in addition, it provides another $925 million for new projects that may become eligible for funding during fiscal year 2021. again, this is one of the highest funded budgets for the transittransmit -- demonstration. turning to aviation. the president's budget recommends $17.5 billion for the federal aviation i base ration. this includes nearly $1 billion
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across programs to support the ongoing work of nextgen. the president's budget also omits a 1.5 billion dollars for aviation safety. this includes an increase of $37 million to fund targeted investments to improve faa's ability to respond to specific issues, like boeing 737 max's analyzing safety trends and improving accountability. this will be used to establish a centralized organization designation authorization office. money the budget includes to -- the agingto replacing maritimeips for state
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activity. turning to rail, i also want to turn to the restoration of assets for the northeast corridor. will releaser.a. an environmental assessment for the replacement of the sawtooth bridge in the near future. this bridge, component of the gateway program, is a key chokepoint for the northeast corridor. trains eachbout 350 day. second, due to a lot of hard work on the part of new jersey transit, the portal bridge project proposal just achieved a medium high rating for the first time. and the federal transit administration has been working closely with the project sponsors, since the new rating makes it eligible to advance. they are working to resolve final details in order to move the project into engineering.
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finally, i am pleased to report that the department is working closely with amtrak to advance rehabilitation work on the existing hudson tunnel, also known as the north river tunnel. given the time, the cost, and the complexity of building an entirely new tunnel, the department is working with atrak to design and validate faster and more cost-effective method to improve safety and asctionality in this tunnel a first order of business. so beginning rehab work in the near term is a right move. for thewaiting years insertion of a new tunnel beforehand. so an innovative methods for repairing the north river tunnel, the hudson tunnel, while
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still in operation could allow amtrak to commence repairs in this tunnel as much as 10 years ahead of schedule. so these are some of the key programs included in the president's fiscal year budget request. thank you, mr. chairman, for the opportunity to appear before you today. i will be happy to answer any questions that you and other members may have. rep. price: thank you very much. i want to lead with a question of some urgency. it involves the coronavirus outbreak and your department's role in the response effort. the number of aspects about this i would appreciate your touching on. how is the department coordinating with other federal agencies, adding the cdc and the state department, to respond to the outbreak? how are you engaging with airports, airlines, mass transit agencies, and other transportation providers to ensure that the right data is collected and shared?
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how are you engaging with your international counterparts? and, most important leak, how are you communicating with the traveling public? mr. chairman, thank you for the opportunity to answer those questions, because they are certainly very important. as you mention, the department is a member of the coronavirus mainforce, the responsibility for correlating response to this issue is the department of homeland security and, of course, health and human cdc -- come along with service, along with cdc. so that coordinating role is one that deals primarily with, as you mentioned, airlines, both domestic and international, and working with dhs at ports of entry and also working with the international agencies.
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so that coordination role has looted being involved in the air bridge to bring thousands of american citizens, nationals, safely home from china and japan. air and cargo traffic between the united states and china. three, health screenings at 11 designated airports in the united states for american passengers who have traveled in coronavirus-stricken areas. four, we have been involved in health protocols to attack the ofise of aircraft -- crews aircraft continuing to fly between the united states and forward designations. five, health messages about the coronavirus for airlines to inform their passengers. president -- as a president says, these continue measures have been effective, but we must be vigilant and prepare for the possibility of
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community-based transmission in the united states. we will be ordinate needing similar efforts with transit steak holding as part of this whole government's plan as well. would you say something about the international community, counterparts that you're working with? sec. chao: we work with our counterparts, international and a parts, dhs, and of course, hhs and cdc work with theirs as well. but we work with the aviation industry internationally to work on screening incoming passengers at foreign airports. this means we have to deal with international aviation authorities overseas. to date, approximately 15,000 returning american nationals have been vetted. we have also d.o.t. transportation -- we have also, d.o.t., worked
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with international health agencies to distribution health information, brochures to passengers and cargo airlines that continue to provide services between the u.s. and china. we also work with international ,aritime organizations as well although that is not our main equity. the coast guard and dhs has the bulk of the responsibility of kneeling with cruise ships, for example, that come into the united states. rep. price: thank you. we appreciate that update and those efforts. i think we are all coming to realize what we have to prepare for here. we hope for the best, of course, but prepare for the worst. your department will be on the frontlines of the effort, as are the transportation providers that you work with. diaz-balartto mr.
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next. course, other questions, but will defer and we will move on with our ranking member. rep. diaz-balart: thank you, mr. chairman. you put me on the spot by speaking less and not taking all of your time, right? and again, thank you for bringing up the coronavirus issue. and adam secretary, obviously for the fact that you are clearly on top of it. let me switch the conversation to a totally different area, the south florida airspace redesign, known as metroplex. i understand the faa is about to undertake an airspace metroplex redesign in central florida with potential noise impacts around my communities. let me throw three questions at you, if i may. what is the schedule for this airspace redesign, if you have that?
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what are the faa's plan to engage the community on the noise impacts of this redesign? and will the faa we dedicate staff to potentially engage with affected communities in the greater miami area? sec. chao: mr. ranking member, anything in southern florida is a priority for us. rep. diaz-balart: cannot interrupt you? by the way, you have demonstrated that. and i am very grateful. thank you. sec. chao: currently, the south central florida metroplex is in withvaluation phase environmental assessment. we hope later this spring come early summer, hopefully around -- spring, early summer, hopefully around may. thethe final e.a. and decision on the project is tentatively scheduled for early fall 2020.
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mentation procedures are expected in april, june, and august of 2021. so we are working closely with the central florida metroplex. if everything goes according to schedule, i think you can expect that. as for needed personnel, we have assigned, we believe, they needed staff to pay attention to this and make sure that it is on track. rep. diaz-balart: and again, your staff has been amazingly accessible, as you have, personally. i look forward to staying in touch with you. ranking glad that member of the full committee is here, because in the 2020 -- again, totally different issue, dealing with china now. in the 2020 national defense authorization act, it included the transit if instructor security act which prohibits faa funds from being used to purchase rolling stock from china state owned or supporting companies. that probation takes effect on
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2021. the reason i am glad the ranking member is here is because that is an effort you started in the appropriations committee. it started getting more and more support for obvious reasons, so i am grateful for your efforts. i put it in the subcommittee here with the chairman's help and everybody else, but that was your effort. and again, very important effort. this legislation obviously received bipartisan support and it will provide critical protectionsurity for our transit if instructor paid i have a long-standing issues with that as well, which is why have worked again with ms. granger and members of the subcommittee on that issue. now, two months have passed that enactment, and i'm hearing concerns that transit agencies are unaware of how this will affect future procurements. have you had an opportunity to
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look at that and what steps d.o.t. is taking to comply with this legislation? what has the department done to date to inform those transit prohibition?he this is a national security issue. i am glad that the place, but i want to make sure transit agencies around the country are aware of it. sec. chao: we are very much aware of this issue. obviously, this is an important issue with implications you mentioned. the fda is working with the u.s. trade representative's office to confirm which countries -- the fta is working with the u.s. trade representative's office to confirm which countries are affected. we are in the process of preparing that plan. likely use its processes to ensure this provision as well.
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this is a top of center issue. we are very much aware of it. rep. diaz-balart: thank you, madam secretary. i am also concerned about airports and passenger bridges. you,l spend some time with mr. chairman, on that. again, thank you for your leadership. it is also an issue i will bring up to you and your staff and we have more time. thank you. rep. price: thank you. ms. lowey. rep. lowey: thank you, mr. chairman. see youy chao, good to again kate i want to make it clear that no one disagrees that the existing hudson tunnel is in need of rehabilitation. the tunnel opened in 1910. that's 110 years ago. and was damaged during superstorm sandy. but rehabilitating the existing
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tunnel does not increase quepasa -- capacity. it is important, and i thank you for your work, but it is not increase capacity on the northeast corridor. without a new tunnel and two new tracks ringing the system to four total, the bottlenecks will continue to limit amtrak and commuter rail, which prevents economic growth throughout the northeast. discussed, just rehabilitating the current tunnel is a nonstarter. so, madam secretary, i am pleased the portal northbridge, a key component of to remove rail bottlenecks along the northeast corridor, is now eligible to move forward in the capital investment grants process. however, in the last year, fta has finalized only two full funding grant agreements for new
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starts projects, none for core capacity projects. key projects, high portal north in california are waiting. there are more than 6 million in funds that this committee has appropriated which fta has not even allocated to projects. budget last fta's year so it could process these projects more quickly. secretary, what concrete steps is fta undertaking to hasten the starts and core capacity projects other than small starts projects? sec. chao: thank you very much. thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify that point. i did not say that we do not need a second tunnel. right now, the plan is to build
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a second tunnel which will take seven to 10 years, then go back and rehabilitate the current tunnel. what we are suggesting at the department is can we not do this concurrently? take a look at the existing tunnel, repair that while we are preparing for the second tunnel? having said that, the hudson tunnel still has not been able to earn more than a medium low rating. it has got to get higher. new jersey did it dad and i know the competition between new jersey and new york is fierce. new jersey beat new york to this one, and i'm sure new york is not happy about that, but they have got to get there rating up to at least a medium high for us to be able to talk about further financing. so if i could just clarify that, thank you p the second thing about fta -- i think the situation is better than what you just painted. the department was allocated all of 2.5 billion dollars in fiscal
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year of 2017, so there is literally no dollars un-allocated. had $2.6ar 2018, we billion, and we have allocated everything except for $40.7 million. in fiscal year 2019, we had $1.57 billion. we have allocated all of that. lastly, we allocated $865 million in fiscal year 2020 c.i.g. grants. so this administration has constructioni.g. grant agreements, advanced projects into addictive element and advanced nine projects into c.i.g. engineering. i think we are accelerating. in the beginning, we were a little slow, because we are a
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new team getting into place. but take a look at the figures here. i think you would be pretty pleased with what we have done. rep. lowey: i see i am running out of time. that the plans to continue to repair the current tunnel move forward, because it is essential. sec. chao: absolutely. we are not saying it is not -- rep. lowey: i appreciate the last meeting we had and i look forward to talking to you and the governors of new york and new jersey to see what we can do , theve the whole plan projects before the new tunnel, as quickly as we can, because we know it is essential. so i thank you and look forward to working with you. rep. price: thank you. ms. granger. rep. granger: secretary chao, environmental reviews often delay local plans to rebuild
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infrastructure. i appreciate the trump administration is committed to reducing these burdens. can you outline steps you have taken to reduce these burdens for d.o.t.'s grantees and what are your plans to make further progress in this area? sec. chao: i am so sorry -- i did not hear the question. oh. with -- forge issue all of us. for any one of us who care about infrastructure. when i going to different communities, i am just horrified, sometimes, to learn how long it takes for new projects to be moved along and finished. this administration has made it a priority to reduce the regulatory burden and streamline the environmental standards without optimizing safety or environmental protection.
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so there is unprecedented levels of cooperation within the government branch as well. late last year, the department announced our rule on rules that would codify a series of important reforms to the .epartment's rulemaking the hoover dam took four years to build. i recently just last year, two years ago, went up to alaska to give one of the final approvals for concession for the sterling highway. it took 37 years. clearly, that is unacceptable. communities are not able to function and have the quality of life that they deserve when so many of these projects are so terribly delayed. permitting reform and regulatory perform -- reform our top priorities. rep. granger: that is wonderful. in an area like i live, the city
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of fort worth is twice the size it was when i was mayor for it. that hasous growth happened all over the dallas-fort worth area. so to wait for the highways to catch up without a program like you have got would be impossible to work with. thank you for that and i appreciate the exclamation. -- explanation. sec. chao: mr. chairman, since that is a little lull here, there is also the notice to proposed rulemaking on neva nipa reform. i think we all can agree that there needs to be niipa reform. public comment is welcome. rep. price: alright, we will scrutinize that carefully. mr. quigley. rep. quigley: thank you
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secretary for being here. you are public in your criticism objections to the fcc's proposal to change how the 5.9 gigahertz spectrum can be used. the proposal would shrink the amount of that amount used 235 megahertz and increase the amount of wi-fi -- you explain why the industry requires all of this dedicated spectrum and what with the operational impact speed to the industry if they have to operate with only 30 megahertz? ac. chao: this is controversial topic. obviously, the real estate on this spectrum is precious. all i am looking out for is safety. i am making sure that as we
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enter a new world in which technology takes a greater role in helping us achieve greater safety, when there is vehicle to onicle communication going with wi-fi, vehicle to infrastructures, vehicle to everything, communication going on with the wi-fi, that the safety aspect not be optimized and forgotten and that we have the full real estate required. not wed to anyis particular technology. there have been technology talked about in the past. we are not wed to any one technology. we believe the consumer should decide. rep. quigley: critics have said that the auto industry has had -- already use this respond? sec. chao: i wonder the same thing as well. i think we should be planning for this. i want to make sure the mistakes in the past are not being repeated in the future. again, the pace and innovation
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of technology is moving rapidly. i want to reserve the real estate. there is some thought about breaking up the real estate, using transportation safety on this spectrum, 5.9, part of it, then move on to take another piece of real estate in the spectrum. the problem is we do not know what the ancillary impact would be. the defense department and the commerce department all have joining realt estate for different purposes, uses, what will that do. will there be bleeding of certain impacts from another use , bleeding into their sector, whatever it may be? for us, it would be chance petition safety issues. rep. quigley: following that, that technology is so essential. why hasn't d.o.t. moved forward with mandating a vehicle to
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vehicle commit occasions technology? sec. chao: i do not think mandating will fulfill the goal, because the technology is changing so rapidly. again, we are not wed to any particular -- the technology is changing so rapidly. so i do not think that the government should be the one deciding what technologies to use. right now, it is not yet set which technology is best. so we cannot mandate any particular technology. all we can do, i think, is to the spectrum that is needed. we have an ongoing study. i realize it is taking a lot longer than expected, but it is complicated. rep. quigley: have you been briefed as to how quickly this -- the services can be rolled up to a sniffing number of vehicles? sec. chao: yes. and i'm not --
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by manyn briefed parties and stakeholders. i see no clear answer. rep. quigley: what is the range you have been told, how long it will take? sec. chao: we have talked to scientists, and they will not even say how much. some people think five years ago, that it will be available five years hence, which is today. clearly we are not. the largest factors consumer acceptance. the technology can be there, but if there is not consumer acceptance of this new world we are talking about, than the technological pace will slow. in any case, there is no set or superior technology that is universally accepted that the government can say this is the best technology, this is what we will deploy. rep. quigley: thank you. rep. price: mr. rutherford. rep. rutherford: thank you, mr.
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chairman. secretary, thank you for being here today. i want to start with the safety operations appropriation the f.r.a.aling with committed25 million there. public and congress at that time actually eliminated that has now been brought back. and we rely on the private sector safety related investments in rail and equipment. can you give me an idea of why the decision was made to bring this feedback now? sec. chao: i know you do not know thereee, and i are others as well-paid as you mentioned, the president's budget as proposed to impose a
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user fee that would reimburse therailroad administration for e operational cost of rail safety, inspectors and activities. the thinking was that like other industries, the railroads benefit directly and indirectly from the government's efforts to ensure high safety standards, so therefore it is appropriate for the railroads to bear some burden, some of the cost of ensuring that safety. rep. rutherford: ok, thank you. i want to shift gears and go to the grants. and i want to thank you, as a first responder myself, for the announcement of the department for the first responder program, the v2x. it has been a long time coming. i'm glad to see it is here.
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i appreciate knowing the number of officers and citizens that we lose every year as a result of high-speed response, so i would and in lastthe -- year's budget we had asked for that study that would really kind of go along with this, i believe. any idea where that study is at now? fact thatlook at the fatalities% spike in and a citizen fatalities. sec. chao: i am not quite sure. a $38 million multimodal first responders safety technology pilot program, so let me take a look at that for you. rep. rutherford: i was not sure
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if the program grew out of that study or not. i have not seen the study. sec. chao: let me take a look. because i talk about it a lot, the need to protect first responders. rep. rutherford: we really do appreciate that. sec. chao: i think that -- ok. rep. rutherford: if i could -- we will talk a little bit about our maritime industry and the tremendous support florida has received from your office. act. recognize the jones in fact that $154 billion total economic output from this billionannually, $41 for american workers every year. thein addition to that, jones act ensures that our defense capabilities are not being outsourced to foreign nations.
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a $2y district alone, billion annual impact from the maritime industry, because not only do we have the marine terminals, the shipyards, all the workers engaged in moving the cargo as well. anyquestion is, do you see act or sense that the jones is in jeopardy of being weekend or dismantled? sec. chao: the jones act is the law and our point of view, and we need to comply with it. from may be disagreements time to time within the interagency work task force on this. i think you would know which departments would be at odds. we from our point of view are strong supporters of the jones act. rep. rutherford: i yield back. thank you.
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>> it is good to see you madam secretary. you certainly have good news about the bridge project. i would like to know the next steps. and if you could give us any indication with the timeframe, would it would be for us to see money to dig a hole and make a new bridge. fte chao: right now, the administrator, james williams, is talking with portal bridge. those people. i think they details are important. i think it is a very positive at the rating has been changed to medium-high. i have to give new jersey credit, because they worked with us and they were listening. that is why it has changed. it is poised.
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they are on the path to engineering. if all goes well with a discussion of those details. with engineering command that is a path to financing. -- engineering, that is a passive financing. rep. coleman: there is no way to say one or two years in advance? this has been an important project. and it has been a dangerous bridge. sec. chao: they have crossed to that hurdle. rep. coleman: from time to time, it would be helpful if we could come at least the new jersey delegation, get an update on where we are in this project. sec. chao: of course. rep. coleman: thank you. thank you for the information regarding the sort of new thinking as it relates to the hudson tunnel. i have a couple questions. i do note is, understand how the tunnel could be prepared while it is still in
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service. i do not understand what would be happening. and i really believe that this is new to us and will ask if you will provide a detailed briefing on your plans to the new york and new jersey delegations as soon as possible. sec. chao: of course. rep. coleman: the third question is, since we are not fully embracing your idea that this one tunnel is sufficient, one of the problems with the issue for theredson tunnel, one was budgetontention that the was in order. the other issue was the environment impact statement has been waiting forever and the last time we had an update there were 27 items that were supposedly identified that needed to be completed in order to have the eis done appropriately. i want to know where we are in that as well.
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sec. chao: of course, we wanted to be responsive on the hudson tunnel. e the a lot -- despit of discussion, has not been able -- even though they have not been able to work on their plan that it meets a medium-high rating. this is not a rating that the noncareer people do. rep. coleman: i understand that. if there is anything i want to come out of this hearing, we are not saying there is only one tunnel. rep. coleman: what are we saying? sec. chao: we are still in support. because we need to increase the capacity. but right now that plan is to fund the second tunnel, which would take 7-10 years to build, assuming good conditions. we know the projects are always delayed.
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so that is a pretty optimistic viewpoint. then come back and fix the existing tunnel. we took a page from governor cuomo's plan, he has a project called canarsie and he asked and the dean of the schools of engineering of -- i will wrap it up -- of cornell and columbia. we want to go back to his idea, get those experts to look at the hudson tunnel to see how we can in the interim repair it. because of safety. rep. coleman: with that in mind, we very much want a briefing on what that means, how that would be accomplished, how long it would take. but at the same time, we really want to understand our outstanding obligation with regard to the eis on the hudson tunnel. so we need a briefing on that as well, because there were specific things laid out that
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were not sufficient, but we have no update. and we need to have the information in order to know when and where we need to go next. sec. chao: there seems to be disagreement as to what the status is, so we will update you, because we cannot do anything unless and until the rating by hudson tunnel gets approved. rep. coleman: ok, thank you. if i had more time i would ask about positive train control. if i do not get a chance, i hope somebody else will. rep. price: if you can stay around, that is good. if not, submit a question for the record. secretary,u, madam for your service to your country. and your leadership. i am going to throw a general question out on the table. as you know, interstate 40 nine 9uns through my district -- 4 runs through my district and weighted beneficiaries of a
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build grant and that was critical to getting the missouri portion of this interstate connected with the arkansas portion. more work to be done in the southern part of the area, where there is unmet needs and a major bridge over the arkansas river. presidentderstand the policies toward and his interests in making sure that we get funding out in the rural parts of our country. priority of his and a priority of your administration. what can we do to ensure that rural america, which is in desperate need of having the revitalization to build economies, and there are good things going on in rural america, but what more can we do? sec. chao: i come from rural america. i used to be from new york, but
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i am now a kentuckian, a proud kentuckian. rural america is not looking for a handout. it is looking for equity and parity. in previous administrations, the rural areas of our country have been long neglected. of prior to 2017, 70% transportation dollars went to urban areas. 19% of our population live in rural america, yet 46% of fatalities and accidents occur on rural roads. residents travel on rural roads. and the majority of our freight movement occurs on rural roads. so it is essential that the needs of rural america be addressed. plus, bridges that are import
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, poor condition they are in rural america. bridges with weight limitations are in rural america, predominantly. so we need to be making sure that rural america is not overlooked. time since thet last decade, we are now ensuring that rural america is not overlooked and that there is parity and attention and resources. rep. womack: i appreciate the fact that we are getting these funds out into the rural part of the country, because they desperately need them. i have a question about the tower program committee continues to be one of the faa's most effective partnerships, especially for rural america. and that is the case in my district. i have northwest national airport and i have other smaller
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airports that have contract tower partnerships going on. will this continue to be a priority of the administration. sec. chao: absolutely. allfaa has fully funded participating in its program. also received six additional applications, all of which are being evaluated. so this is a very important part of rural america. rep. womack: i assume it fits within the safety. sec. chao: absolutely. rep. womack: of the administration. again, i want to thank you for your time and for the opportunity to visit with you personally in the office, and i look forward to our dialogue as we work together to make these issues possible. i yield back. rep. price: thank you. thank you, madam secretary.
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discussedst met, i the importance of the build grant. to urban areas, which i represent. that weiate that equity talk about, that there should never be a preference put on rural or urban because america is all of that. i am pleased with the recent budget request, but i remain disappointed with the department 's administration with the overemphasis on rural projects. the state of michigan, which includes rural sections, did not receive any bill grants, and only received funding for rural projects in fiscal year 17 and 18, while other states received multiple awards in both urban
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and rural communities. additionally, in fiscal year 18 and 19, the department opted to not distribute any planning grants. time and time again, cities have told me how difficult it is to prepare for large projects, and often ask for help in securing funds to assist in the initial staging. can you briefly discuss why the planning grants were not utilized in the past, and discuss the strategy to ensure that communities are well-equipped to take advantage of the use in the future? sec. chao: it has been this administration's position not to have -- grants. there have been so many entities receiving planning grants for such a long time, so we would like to see more action versus planning, hoping that the local
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entities, the state and local entities can also step up to the plate. but i am always willing to talk about that with you because there are areas that have specific needs. rep. lawrence: and challenges. sec. chao: and challenges. on the issues of grants, i wish they are very competitive, so we never have enough money. thein most of the grants, money we are allotted forms only one dollar out of like $11. ask, ifrence: if i can we have 50 states and we have a limited amount of money, how is it that certain states -- and i do not want to start beating a dead horse -- but certain states get multiple grants and other states get zero. that is very hard for me to
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understand how the administration is pleasing a priority on a certain state. and then other states get totally nothing. sec. chao: we do not please priority on states. um. rep. lawrence: you do have one person assigned to your home state. sec. chao: that is not true. i do not know how the newspapers made that up. rep. lawrence: that is not true? sec. chao: that is not true. he happens to be from that state, but i never asked him to do that. but that is not true. rep. lawrence: but they have reaped the benefits of him being on your advisory board or committee? kentucky has been the highest recipient -- sec. chao: that is not true, there are 29th and population into has received about a 32 ranking in terms of grants. rep. lawrence: michigan has gotten none. sec. chao: this is a process. i do not want to -- this is a
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competitive process. what kentucky gets -- if you look at illinois. illinois is 12 in the nation in terms of population, and they are number three in terms of grants. so there are many examples of where this disproportionate share is, and a lot depends on the -- i do not want to say, a lot depends on the quality of the project and whether it is supported by the entire delegation, how it rates -- it is truly a meritorious, the process. rep. lawrence: if i can make my plea, the planning part of the grants, it has not been a focus of the administration. obviously, michigan is not doing something right because to not get anything. and even the planning grant, even my rural community projects, we only received them
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in 17 and 18. so i will be aggressive in seeking to sit down with you, madam secretary, to discuss this issue. sec. chao: as you should. rep. lawrence: because for me to answer to my constituents how the entire state of michigan has received no grants from -- and we celebrate and say we find the build grant and there is nothing left. sec. chao: let's continue talking. secretary, and has been good working with you, especially on national security issues, like in west texas, the grants texas has received has helped a part of texas that has a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities. and it is a region that has allowed us to be energy independent. that goes a long way for our
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national security. as you are aware, my home state, the ranking member home's -- state, we only get a certain amount from the trust fund, and texas is the only state year-to-year that is consistently a donor state. i know the texas department of transportation and not all of the delegation -- and all the delegation would like to see that 100% return. welcome thoughts on how we could work together to remedy this unfair burden that texas has to share. or shoulder. sec. chao: i understand your concern. and your concern with texas being a donor state. determines all of that into the current appropriations formulas are in the fast act, so we do not have very much discretion in setting
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those formulas. with the reauthorization coming up, there will be an look --ity to review review and reconsider. rep. hurd: i will work with chairman price on that. i am sure our ranking member will have an opinion on this topic when that reauthorization comes. selectry, most of us people for the merchant marine academy's, texas a&m galveston has purchased a new merchant marine, or is looking to purchase a new ship, part of it will be further training for disaster preparedness, which marines are having an increasing role in we have seen that effectiveness. 20understanding is in the fy budget that $300 million has been allocated for that. i wanted to confirm, is that your understanding as well? sec. chao: the $300 million is
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for the fourth ship, which should go to texas. question, and my last maybe my second to last question, secretary, you know the san antonio international airport, my hometown airport, is slot constrained. the -- given that san antonio is a military city, it is also the point from which a lot lot of our border security theand women travel through fact that we are restricted from flying directly into ronald reagan airport is difficult. and to rectify this, we are not going to be able to address this issue with -- unless the protection is beyond -- and rule
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is changed. do you have suggestions on how we can go about addressing the issue without hamstringing current operations? sec. chao: thank you for raising this. i no it is an issue often raised by congress, unfortunately dop's authority in this regard is limited and we have historically deferred to congress on the appropriate number of slot to andons for service from that airport. rep. hurd: are you aware of if some of these rules were changed, whether that would have impact on the pensions of airline, companies that have worked for airlines or are receiving pensions from airlines? sec. chao: i am not aware of that. rep. hurd: that is something
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that in previous iterations of this debate, you know, changing these rules have been implied and i have not been able to confirm the information, whether that is the case, but i appreciate your perspective. i yield back my remaining 18 seconds. rep. price: thank you. >> thank you. secretary, it is really great to see you. welcome to our committee. i want to thank you for the call you made to me a week and a half ago regarding the grants that were funded in long beach. rt is not in the po my district, but they are a critical infrastructure to my district. trade,are about foreign i think that we should very much pay attention not only to the port, but to the 35th
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congressional district that i represent. as i host all of the infrastructure as it relates to logistics. imagine the impact that the ports have on the quality of life for my constituents driving 50 or 60 miles one way to work, and the congestion that they have to go through in inching their way home or to work with the big trucks, right? i want to paint the picture to you. in the morning, there is a max exodus at about 5:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m., parents are going to work. children are being left at the front door of their school. they are often unattended because schools do not open until about 8:00 a.m. two or three hours spent on the highway, one way to work. ask of theuch to
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community that hosts this huge economic engine for our entire country. and that is why i was delighted call that youur are looking to the community, and you are looking to help fund port activity. i am disappointed that funding was zeroed out and we are now going to look at the bill -- to fund that. i think losing focus on specific port funding is a mistake, that is my opinion. and i hope that you will not lose that focus. ports ors on inland marine ports. todso want to tell you that funding is critically important,
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as we connect communities. we do not want to create desert communities like the suburbs i represent, where there is very little economic activity. d tod grants are important in that. i represent a working-class community and those grants are important to us. my cities do not have the staffing that is required to adhere and apply for many of these grants. you have to have full-time staff in order to report back on how they spent the money. governmenthuge bureaucracy. we have to figure out a way to streamline some of those processes to ensure that committees that like mine are able to apply for that funding and be able to accept that funding.
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finally, i want to say that this committee has made it really dlear that urban sprawl an overwhelming traffic in areas, like my district tomorrow challenges that should be directly addressed by our national transportation priorities. can we expect the pilot programs that have been authorized under 21 and the fast act to encourage transit planning that connects houses, jobs and mixed-use development with major transportation projects, specifically the $10 million provided for a competitive pilot program to be stood up and available for communities to apply for? sec. chao: i do not know much about the timetable. so i will look into that. clearly, i understand your concern. it is very common sense, you need transit in order to supply
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the resourcesth to get jobs, go to school. get kids to school. rep. torres: right. the railroad, although that grant was for the alameda corridor, railroad is important in the district, but we have had many, many cases of deaths as a result of people not adhering to the signs or the lack of signs. and railroad safety is a huge problem in the district. so i will stay here and come back for my other questions, but i hope you will stay focused on that. sec. chao: thank you, i will. rep. price: thank you. ms. clark. >> thank you. thank you for coming. i want to quickly echoed that concern about the capital investment grades and -- grants
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and note that i am glad to see funding in your request. request. withrday i had meetings governor baker's staff and i know he shared in a recent meeting with you that they are going to be applying for court capacity grants for green lantern information, and we are hoping to engage in that process with you and your staff. here is some not so fun facts. boston is ranked eighth most vulnerable among the world's most coastal cities. boston low income neighborhoods were housing projects were built on landfills are vulnerable to flooding, and this is not just boston but neighborhoods and communities in my district. entire neighborhoods in my district could be underwater, including logan airport. we know that superstorm's have tremendous flooding, can be
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subject to tremendous flooding and significant damage to our infrastructure. this committee provided $1 million in fy 20 appropriations for the department to work for the transportation research board on effective ways to measure the resilience of the transportation system. this is an area we take very seriously, and we hope that you do as well. can you share how you have used that million dollars and how you have tied federal transportation funding to resiliency efforts? sec. chao: in our current budget we have -- let me correct that, and our service reauthorization which is under going agency clearance in the executive branch, we include provisions for resiliency. that is the first time it has ever been included, and i think that is a very positive
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development. the one million-dollar grant, i am sorry, i do not have that handy but will look into that for you. rep. clark: are there areas you are looking into where you are looking to build resiliency? sec. chao: i was briefed on this and i cannot remember. rep. clark: i am sure you will get back to me. naturaln to infrastructure. nature-based solutions is a great way to help us build uselience, whether that is of vegetation. when they are used alongside great infrastructure such as roads and bridges, they are very much a cost-effective and sustainable solution. i am pleased to see that you released guidance on nature-based solutions for coastal highways. you in thesupport
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amplification and promotion of these solutions? how is federal highways incorporating them into projects? sec. chao: i found the answer to your $1 million. it was in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill. so it was directed for the transportation research board. that effort is in development and the funds are being transmitted to tr be for their trb for their use. we have a resiliency group to collaborate across all roads. obviously, this issue requires overall cooperation and collaboration of all of the modes. the university transportation centers grant program, we've got 37 designated centers involving
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150 colleges and universities, in excess of $70 million annually to carry out research on resiliency. as i mentioned, the surface transportation proposal will include the resiliency language for the first time. and your question was? rep. clark: you gave a partial answer and i have 30 seconds left. i want to return to the u.s. merchant marine academy. every year we talk about this with sexual assault. service showstly 70% of sexual contact occurs on the grounds of u.s. mma at kings point, new york. there is a request to have concurrent criminal jurisdiction with new york state. can you tell me the status of that? sec. chao: we are very concerned about that.
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kings point is working with the nassau county stick attorney -- district attorney and the police commissioner to discuss what are the responsibilities and extending coke current -- which is what you were talking about. that effort has been initiated and is ongoing. rep. clark: do you have a timetable for completion? sec. chao: that is a good question. bo clark i yelled back. rep. price: madam secretary, i want to return to the question of your oversight role with respect to faa decisions which you referenced in your opening statement. i realize the relationship because faa predates the department, there are some unique features here. nonetheless, you are clearly the head of the department within which the faa is housed.
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could the department challenge the faa to integrate the work of aircraft certification and flight standards? could the department require the faa to justify its use of organization designation authorization? what actions has the department taken to foster a safety first culture at the faa? makesically, when the faa the decision to return the max to service, what questions do you intend to ask of the faa? i realize there's a very broad questions. hope they give you a chance to elaborate your plans to take on this matter. sec. chao: there is no timeline for returning the boeing max 737 to service. our number one rib party is safety in the faa the statutory responsibility to ensure that its review of the airplane to its satisfaction before any
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action is taken on this. my responsibility is to ensure the faa process is one that is free from outside influences, that they are playing -- paying attention which they are to this. the faa is responsible for the issue. to address theed safety concerns that led to the grounding. the faa is the agency responsible for resending the grounding water and working with the international community. expect the faa to conduct a thorough review of the max aircraft prior to its on grounding, and this will include examining the recommendations from the various taskforces and review boards which have been studying this issue. then as secretary of transportation i reserve the right to require that the faa
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take any additional actions needed. rep. price: thank you. monitors --ourse monitor this very carefully and make sure these certain these decisions are responsible. that they are adequately and that when it comes needs and when it comes to the needs, the budget reflects that. the question of budget execution. for the past three years in partnership we have appropriated -- as $60 million above you well know, a cigna can portion of these resources are provided through competitive grants to help communities address their challenges. in fiscal 2019, the committee
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provided $670 million before passenger rail improvement grant railroads including chrissy and the federal state partnership for the state of good repair programs. and frathe department have been unable to reward these grants in a timely manner, the fiscal 20 bill directed you to make these awards by may 1 of 2020. my first question is, are you on track to meet that deadline? sec. chao: i sure hope so. we are aware that. i take that. price: to be an affirmative answer. it is imperative you complete work with the 2019 awards because we have to move forward with the 2020 awards. we are talking to million dollars the committee provided for 10 competitive grant programs, including chrissy and the state of good repair programs.
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i appreciate the d.o.t. has initiated the six grant cycles over these 10 programs. i am concerned with the pattern pattern of fra programs lagging behind. my question here is has to do with the way these rail investments are going to be expedited. what does the department and fra need to improve the grant process? do they need more resources? more staff? do they need more oversight? what is your assessment? we are hopeful we will meet this deadline. there is a broader problem that we need to address. sec. chao: there are so many grants in the department of transportation. i was here 27 years ago. we do not have so many grant programs. we have six different programs, discretionary.
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it really required agencies to respond in a way they haven't before. safety organization and now they are grant organization could we get 50 grants out this week. -- grant organization. we just got 50 grants out this week. understanding that the committee wants some of this out, and we do too. notice the funding opportunities, and that is very important, because that sets a parameter for how applications are to be submitted. if we write them badly, it creates havoc, uncertainty, confusion. since december 2019, the department has issued 30 out of 48 total possible funding opportunities. so based on our progress to confident -- ity
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never want to overpromise -- that the department possibility iscomplete this first phase proceeding according to schedule . again, we have a very tight timeline, and we hold all the modes very tightly to these notice of funding opportunities. rep. price: thank you for that expression of determination. your perception is absolutely right that this subcommittee puts great stock in this. i personally put great stock into the chrissy program. i have been grateful for what this program has meant to my state. i know firsthand. yes, the activities have stepped up. the activities have changed over time. there needs to be adaptation on the part of the fra and other agencies to take on this role. atneed to know if what is
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the root at some of these challenges is staffing, is funding, we need to know that. sec. chao: understand. rep. price: mr. diaz-balart. rep. diaz-balart: before my question, i want to make two points. i believe it was rutherford mentioned the ports. i think others did well. i would be remiss because i thank you as you need to be thanked but i need to thank the chairman, because i would remind folks that that was the program that started in the subcommittee when i chaired it. however, it has continued under the leadership of chairman price. you ou a bit of gratitude. -- owe you a you ou a bit of gratitude. group -- a debt of gratitude. -- she's a very knowledgeable
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person on the subcommittee and a great number, and yet there have been so many press reports out there that we read and assume are true. i want to thank her for bringing up the issue and the fact that you clarified some of the facts on some of the things we have read. i just learned for the first illinois, i hope there isn't a distant relative of somebody who may have worked for somebody who is a third cousin who once drove by the door and thought maybe one of your items -- one of your staffers, because if there is one from illinois, you are going to get a story that we've got bias toward illinois because of that distant cousin. i am glad you had the opportunity to clarify that, because i have read that and it has been highly irresponsible
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reporting. thank you. sec. chao: the senior senator from kentucky complained as to what kentucky was not getting involved as to why -- as to why kentucky was not getting involved. rep. diaz-balart: i am not getting involved in that. your budget request that you highlight a major new, large truck crash study. between the -- i understand that the last such study was done nearly two decades ago. madam secretary, what led you to decide to undertake this new major study? what do you hope to learn how that might benefit road safety? give me some thoughts. that is a very important and a new major undertaking.
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sec. chao: thank you for that question. you are right. it has been more than 15 years since the original study. there has been a lot of changes -- there have been a lot of changes in vehicle safety, roadway design, that impact how a driver performs. identifystudy help factors that are contribute into the growth in large truck crashes. 14th, 2019, fm ca -- s and ca how best to design and conduct the study. >> have you had an opportunity to figure out how long that might take? what the cost might be? sec. chao: i do not really know yet but i will go back and ask that. rep. diaz-balart: this subcommittee and the full committee chairwoman is one who
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counseled me and reminded me the importance of safety. interestedhing i am if you can stay in touch with us as you progress. it is something is important. i want to commend you for bringing that up. i didn't realize until i saw this recommendation that it had been that long since. technology is totally different than it was almost two decades ago. i thank you for that. i yelled back. rep. price: thank you. -- you know the automotive market begins to shift toward electric vehicles. the state of michigan is home to several automakers, and the in mysion about even district, there is a
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groundbreaking announcement that local communities are going to start building electric vehicles. theyoude discuss ,trategy to develop a robust structure that electric grants? designates proper charging signage? can you discuss how you are working with the energy department to ensure this infrastructure is a priority? sec. chao: i think it is a matter of consumer choice. this is an issue which infrastructure is being talked about. we will have to deal with it. it is one that is a proper place . we discussed this with the automakers all the time and , but ited stakeholders
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is a huge and major part of infrastructure development that i think needs national consensus. >> i want to emphasize that we all have to work together on this because we manufacture the cars and we cannot afford them. just make sure that is a priority. mr. chairman, i would like to yield the right minder of my time -- remainder of my time. rep. torres: i know your time is almost up. really appreciate you being here. as part of the fast act, the accelerator demonstration pogrom was authorized to assist entities in developing their infrastructure priority and financing strategies for projects eligible for funding other -- after fighting for funding over the last few years, i secured $12 million in the fiscal year 20 to stand up this program. can you tell me what the timeline is for the know for to
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be issued so we can take advantage of that? my concern is california just past the gas tax so we have some lame -- we have some money where we utilized with matching funds if necessary. this is a critically important program for my district. sec. chao: we recently went out with the request for information to get ideas for stakeholders. that was important because we wanted to get information on how the regional infrastructure accelerator program can best be structured, so that it is relevant. that was done. now we are anticipating doing the nofa this spring but we had to get that in place. probably this spring and probably with more announcements this year. >> is it possible for my office to participate in that?
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back tockly going railroads, according to the national strategy to prevent trespassing on railroad toperties, conduct summits develop mitigation strategies specifically to the local surrounding communities and issues related to deaths on railroad property. can you tell us what the timeline is for those community meetings? or stakeholder meetings? sec. chao: you may remember that i was deputy secretary of recitation almost 30 years ago. railroadhighway crossing safety issues were a , and i wasthen always concerned about that. one of my first priorities is to focus attention on this. we have done -- we continually
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try to get for mission out to engage in educational programs, railroads, state deal geez -- d.o.t.'s to focus on this issue. that has reduced fatalities by 15%, but it is still too high. we have 400 annually so we will want to work with you because there's a certain community. >> i am going to yield back her time. >> madam secretary, just wanting you to know that i will be following up on what we can do better in michigan. thank you so much for showing up. sec. chao: thank you. rep. price: >> i was wondering whether positive train control had been addressed, because i know in 2020 expectation of completion
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but i do not think all the transit agencies, including the one in new jersey, are necessarily poised to complete that amount of time. i am wondering what you were doing to get them there, or what we can expect in terms of having the time necessary. sec. chao: we have been very focused on this. we have a pretty good report card. the fra is really -- is in charge of doing this. if you have any particular entity having problems -- coleman: i don't think we have done every thing we are supposed to do in new jersey. sec. chao: the president's budget request is $3 million to continue to monitor operations in fiscal year 2021 and all 41 railroads either met the deadline for fully implementing the systems or certified that they will implement an fra december no later than
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31st, 2020. upon initiating the commuter rail service in 2019 of 42nd railroad text rail, it is included in all of this and pdc the required route miles. only about 25% of 236 tenant railroads achieve enough to build it he so challenges remain. this is a very important focus. ofwill we achieve the 100% -- the 58 sec. chao: there will be railroads that will not be able to. >> i am sorry. go ahead. sec. chao: the fra is watching and we are looking at it --
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looking at it very closely. >> the other question, when they are not meeting the deadline, if we then impose a penalty upon them, the sort of money that thed possibly accomplish intended goal of being in compliance. are we able to waive that as well? sec. chao: i don't know. >> it seems counterintuitive. sec. chao: we have assessed $400,000 in civil penalties for schedule related violations. >> thank you. i yelled back. yourprice: we appreciate appearance, your time here this morning, madam secretary. i do know we have a hard stop which we have arrived at. i want on the way out to signal a concern on my own regarding truck safety.
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maybe you can give me a quick answer. this has to do with truck under rides. our fiscal 2020 bill did direct the department to implement the recommendations to improve. i wonder if you have any timeline you can report on this morning, as to when you are going to be able to comply with these requirements? if not, i will await your answer for the record. sec. chao: we talked about this yesterday. this is a priority. let me get that over to you. let me add, i couldn't believe, i would talk to representative lawrence about this, but michigan has received other grants. million ined $533 discretionary grants. including -- i will talk to her about that. rep. price: that is pertinent to
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what i'm about to say because there's more information of that source, clarifications, we will welcome that as we compile the hearing record. the staff will be in contact with your staff. if you could return the information to the committee within 30 days from next thursday. we will be able to publish a complete transcript of today's hearing. we would appreciate your cooperation in that regard. mr. diaz-balart, d have any further comments? >> i don't. rep. price: thank you, madam secretary. sec. chao: thank you so much. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020]
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>> coming up in an hour, larry
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bucshon, a medical doctor on the u.s. and global response to the coronavirus outbreak. at 8:30 a.m., congressman tim ryan discusses the global response to the coronavirus and camping 2020. ♪ host: good morning on this friday. we will begin the conversation with your confidence level and how washington is responding to the coronavirus outbreak. from capitol hill to the white house, your turn to tell politicians how you want them to respond. republicans -- democrats -- and independence -- state --e, city and wjn us on twitter at c-span and


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