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House approves another short-term funding fix

May 22, 2015 by · Comments Off on House approves another short-term funding fix
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congress progressThis week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a short-term highway funding extension. The extension will be the 33rd short-term fix since 2008 and will authorize funding through July 31.

While short-term extensions have been accurately portrayed as Band-aids on bullet holes, the extra time gives Congress a chance to put together a more comprehensive solution for long-term funding. Many view this as a more pragmatic move than attempting to force an imperfect bill through Congress on a tight deadline. It also is viewed as better than a six-month extension, which would let the issue fester and possibly spill into an election year.

The Obama administration introduced a six-year funding proposal with a $478 billion price tag, but with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, most observers believe that is unlikely to be the vehicle for long-term highway funding. Read more

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Washington infrastructure event provides many questions, few answers

February 6, 2014 by · Comments Off on Washington infrastructure event provides many questions, few answers
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ShusterPortraitFinancial software, data and media company Bloomberg hosted an infrastructure event in Washington this week, and while the event provided a forum to frame the issue from multiple perspectives, it remains clear that Congress is far from a consensus on many aspects of a funding plan.

Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, said he favors moving toward a vehicle miles-traveled (VMT) tax to fund a highway program. He is not in favor of raising the 18.4-cent federal gasoline tax, which hasn’t been increased since 1993.

Although a VMT approach would more accurately assess the costs for using transportation assets, others balk at the idea of tracking the number of miles that people travel in order to assess the levy.

Still others, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and former PA Gov. Ed Rendell, believe the gas tax should be raised immediately. Rendell called for raising it by 10 cents and indexing it to inflation. Read more

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Shuster Becomes U.S. House T&I Committee Chairman

November 28, 2012 by · Comments Off on Shuster Becomes U.S. House T&I Committee Chairman
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Earlier, PHIA reported that PA Congressman Bill Shuster (R-Blair) was poised to become the next chairman of the influential U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I).  Today, the Republican majority made the move official and Shuster will become the chairman when Congress convenes its 113th Session in January.  To view a copy of the press release by Rep. Shuster’s office, click here.

Shuster was recently endorsed for the powerful committee post by the U.S. House Republican Steering Committee, a group of key GOP leaders.    Current House T&I Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) abandoned his pursuit of a waiver of House Republican term limit rules, under which he must step down from his leadership of the panel at the end of 2012.  House GOP leaders have been clear the only committee leadership waiver that will be made this year is for former vice-presidential candidate and current House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Read more

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Shuster to be Keynote Speaker at Annual Conference

March 8, 2012 by · Comments Off on Shuster to be Keynote Speaker at Annual Conference
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United States Congressman Bill Shuster will be the Keynote Speaker at PHIA’s Annual Transportation Conference, which is scheduled for April 3, 2012, at the Hilton Harrisburg.  Shuster is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  This subcommittee is one of the most important transportation subcommittees in the House due to its jurisdiction over everything involving rail transportation, from AMTRAK passenger to freight and cargo rail, employee contracts, and rail security.

At the conference, Shuster will discuss the status of the federal transportation reauthorization bill and his role as one of the chief negotiators of the House proposal. 

Shuster was first elected in 2001 and represents much of south-central Pennsylvania.  He resides in Hollidaysburg, Pa.