CRAPO STATEMENT AT HEARING ON MAP-21 REAUTHORIZATION
March 6, 2014
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, today delivered the following remarks during a Banking Committee hearing on the reauthorization of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21:
Thank you Mr. Chairman. It was just over a month ago that we held a hearing on the ongoing implementation of the transportation authorizing legislation, “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century,” or MAP-21.
MAP-21 provided the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) with new authority in the area of transit safety and it was helpful to get an update on what progress has been made to improve passenger safety. I appreciated the recognition from the FTA that new rules must be tailored in way that is not unduly or disproportionately burdensome to smaller and rural systems and the recognition that public transportation simply cannot be captured with a one-size-fits-all approach.
The Banking Committee has a strong record of balancing the needs of rural and urban states and I look forward to continuing that principle as we move toward reauthorization. Today, our witnesses will focus on the challenges they are facing while providing public transportation within their communities. Thank you to all of our witnesses for being here today.
After the expiration of SAFETEA-LU, it took three years and ten short-term extensions to get another authorization passed. That kind of unpredictability presents serious challenges to many transit operators across the country that rely on the ability to leverage federal transit dollars to improve the communities they serve.
As you all know, MAP-21 programs are only authorized through September but, by the latest projections, the transit account will be running on fumes if it does makes it that far. As we discussed in the previous hearing, the most difficult issue will be how to finance our transportation needs going forward. MAP-21 was financed with nontraditional methods and it is imperative that we find a swift and meaningful fix to the serious current inadequacies of the Highway Trust Fund.
Again, I thank our witnesses for being here and I look forward to their statements. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.