tv House Transportation Subcommittee on Infrastructure CSPAN October 11, 2017 10:05am-12:43pm EDT
we'll call the sub committee to order and like to ask that members who are not on the sub committee be permed to sit with sub committee of today's hearings to ask questions. with that objection that is still ordered i would like to welcome everybody to the hearing today. it is going to focus , obviously, on how we can build the 21st century infrastructure. and a committee that is holding a host of hearings toth gaer idea on what congress can do to achieve this goal and today we're going to hear ideas from highways and transit stake holders. gathering input from stake holders is essential to the process, an that we use to develop service transportation policy. and it is valuable in efforts to pass the first long-term highway bilge in a decade and continue to need your assistance with
future legislation. even though with additional resources we provided nation service transportation system needs additional investment. enacting long-term solution is a critical component to ensuring that we can address those needs long into the future. of the past act building on a solution on solution to fund search transportation program has been a central priority of mine and always been a main provide of the committee and federal funding certainly, certainty -- for our nonfederal partners is vital to planning and building infrastructure for the 21st century i looking forward to constructively with my colleaguings on both sides of the aisle as well as the stake hold percent to ensure that we're going to achieve this goal. modern infrastructure means strong america. and america that can compete globally and regional economic development and creates jobs.
now call our witnesses for being here today and with that i look forward, obviously, to testimony with that i'll turn ranking member -- >> thank you mr. chairman. i must say that onset i very much appreciate sub committee is holding this hearing to get input on rebuilding our highway systems. i think that's the right way to begin after this hiatus and the four of us vary bipartisan way led the congress to pass the first surface transportation bill in a decade in 2015. well we realize then that we had not begun -- really begun it is important as that achievement was. it is not yet clear on where the trump administration spans or if it is -- if it is really serious about real investment and
infrastructure i'm pleased they speak about infrastructure so often. but i think this committee is right to continue the due diligence that you have begun mr. hail to highlight our investment needs and critical need to actually fund them, stop is talking about it, let's get some money on the table. perhaps this hearing can help bring our committee and sub committee 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 because earlier this year 250 members of congress, that's within this committee and within the congress generally with robust representation from both sides of the aisle, drawing chairman
graves and i on a letter to the leadership of the ways and means committee urging permanent solution with emphasis on perm permannt and in this letter we urge in the atf highway traffic fund solution should enfail a long-term dedicated, user-based, revenue stream that can support the transportation infrastructure investment. this strongly bipartisan letter stands in stark contrast to the administration's apparent view that an infrastructure initiative is an opportunity to begin chipping away at the federal government's responsibility to be the stewart of our national transportation network. remember that we have recognized that this is a network you can't dice and slice it.
it goes from coast to coast. it goeses from rural to urban. that's 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 incentive design 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 areas are predictable strong proponents of keeping the strong proponents of keeping the funding streams as they are. so the administration seems to hint that some funding would bo to rural areas and for the great bulk of other areas there would be frails and local dollars.
but there has been an agreement for my entire lifetime republican and democratic administrations alike that they should be federal grants that fund the entire network and i am certainly happy to work with rural area they feed right into the urban area i represent to ensure that they are treated fairly. when one part of the system is not treated fairly, we all have to jump in. i cannot support an infrastructure we know, of course, that is biased against urban areas and i suspect that there would be a huge number of members with me on that. i doubt that had such a bill could gather a majority from either party. so as a -- as an example of what a region looks like, i represent the district of columbia which is, of course, a densely populated
city, and a densely populated region where you see all kinds of construction trades, building more offices, apartments, condo, amenities and collaboration with the rest of the region. manned and federal government provides a transportation network for over 6 million people. now, within this microcause m deteriorating bridges, our challenges that we face no matter where we live no part of the region is immune i may represent the region but for the country that i speak of this region. these same challenges the challenges are replicated in had this region in all of our major urban areas across the nation. maybe we should stop calling them urban areas.
because the rural part of our region feeds straight into these roads and bridges because that's where they come for jobs because that's where the jobs are. so parody in a transportation bill is essential. the top 20 urban areas contribute 52% of the total gdp of our economy, american population is expected to grow by 70 million by 2045. and by 2050, three quarters of americans are expected to live in 11 -- mega regions. we can know more, leave behind area urban areas than we can leave behind rural areas. it is pretty hard to disassociate one from the other. urban areas, of course, are the
economic engine of the nation that's where rural areas need them. if we leave urban areas to fend for themselves largely then we are ignoring our constitution no mandate to assure the free flow of commerce. and bottlenecks build up and traffic to grind to a halt in major population and commercial centers is backyards and hurt or been and rural area alike. some of our witnesses today support the repeal of the federal ban on tolling interstates. originally enacted to prevent drivers from double taxation. a rasmussen survey found that just 22% of americans favor polling tolls on interstate highways for infrastructure maintenance. three times as many over 65% are
opposed to turning the nation's interstate into tolling roads. we should think seriously about the impact on drivers if the federal government incentivizes federal lanes toll that allow drivers to avoid the congestion general purpose lanes. such schemes sometimes refer to as lexus lanes, allow those with disposal mechanic to avoid congestion yet leave the great majority of drivers stuck in traffic. just a few miles from here, in virginia are the 495 express lane perhaps some members use them. these are -- these use congestion pricing with no price cap to ensure traffic flow remains at least 55 miles per hour and express lanes. no traffic production requirement exists for the general purpose lane and most
people use meaning any congestion reside with those who can afford to pay more. in the same vain, the public private partnership contract discourages carpooling of all things that directly relieves congestion while hov vehicles are exempt from tolls if they exceed 24% of total vehicles, virginia department of transportation has to subsidize the lost of proceeds. this means what the virginia department of transportation is is incentivized to discourage carpooling which is a major instrument for relieving congestion. finally, this is a particularly bipartisan committee as our recent transportation and
infrastructure legislation shows. however, any adverse treatment to transit investment in an infrastructure package would surely break up this partnership. perhaps, we are all remembering when there was a bill that failed to get to the floor. some years ago -- because it virtually zeroed the transit. transit is critical to moving workers efficiently and minimizing congestion many urban areas. we need more not less of it. yet the administration and fy25,00018 and its budget continues to fall from shortsighted middle at cutting transit funding will somehow solve our transportation funding woes the opposition to transit is a recipe for or congestion i look forward to hearing the witness withs and i
thank you for calling this hearing today. >> thank you mrs. norton i now turn to representative. >> thank you mr. graves and thanks for all of the witnesses here i look forward to hearing from you. none of you i think are strangers from committee out will actually doing it day in and day out in missouri, and you folks are building the infrastructure of this country mr. mccarthy you're using it every day and, of course, mr. great distinguished career at d.o.t. it is a really fabulous panel to have before us we look forward to hearing what you have to say. to me building 21st century infrastructure is about jobs. it's about efficiency moving products, moving people as efficiently as low cost as we can ensuring that america is competitive and making sure we pay for it. stop kicking can down the road so that my children or grandchildren or great grandchildren are going to be stuck with a -- a bill that for a road has been built in next couple of years i
certainly believe that trump is a builder i think this is certainly an area that he understands you know he builds things and finance things and we've been working closely with the administration trying to figure out the outis line to principle and we hope to see that -- soon coming out of the white house. but again, hearing from the stakeholders on your policy and funding priorities, is actually key to all of this. one thing as i said, i think we all can agree on is we need to fibs the highway trust fund making sure that the solution their solution on the table. fixing trust fund will help our nonfederal partners if you look across the country 29 states have dealt with it over the last -- four or five years. i don't believe any state legislature has been wiped out either party for dealing with the funning stream i know my state of pennsylvania itself with the republican governor, with republican house and senate dealt with their funding issue. and one of the things i think,
in this -- follow-up with a little bit of miss norton saying about urban, suburban, rural gas tax is a regression tax and rural pay mrs. but in pennsylvania experience true all over the country i'm sure it is true although rural pokes may pay more in gas tax they get back a lot more. you can't build a roadway in rural america and build a road in any district that isn't subsidized to it tune of 50 to maybe 08% so my folks may more because they use their cars more but what they get from taxpayers and folks and users in philadelphia, pittsburgh it comes back to them and it's a balance what they get back so that's something is that we have to keep in our minds as we go forward because that will be the cry reimpressive but rural america those folks that have to travel more to get to work they benefit greatly i believe -- and my district is an example that have. i think if you've got any rural district many this america
you'll see you can't build an interstate highway through rural pennsylvania or rural wyoming unless the folks from the urban areas their dollars are coming out there to make this country connected. so again i look forward to caring from you folks today and i appreciate you spending your time and your experience with us here. i yield back. >> thank you and now i'll turn to member of the full committee. >> thank you mr. chairman and thanks for holding this hearing and thanks for witness who is traveled today. i didn't bring my poster but you know the poster of 1956 life magazine where the brand new interstate in oklahoma ends at the arkansas border in a farmers field because arkansas defaulted on their promise to build their a section until we had a national highway program and they got 80% of it paid for by the feds. we are talking about linking
america together o, a vision that dwight david eisenhower had had 70 years ago with a national transportation policy. transportation does not end at state lines so we need the federal investment as the chairman said in practice 24 states not just 21. 24 states of step up. and they have increased revenues principally with a gas tax couple of areas went with wholesale accident tays and but they are stepping they need a federal partner it's not enough what they did that and no one lost their election no one was recalled. so why are we sitting here jawing again today nine month website it been months 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 two of my bills for infrastructure have freedom caucus sponsors and other has lieu on it we can do this in a bipartisan way but all we're doing is talking. that's all we're doing arranged here is just talking.
while the country crumbles. i mean seriously let's get to work. you know, we have taken actually republicans took a, you know, a very substantive step on transportation last week in infrastructure. they cut it 25 billion in their budget. so why are we even here pretending? i mean if that's worth, if that's their priority and cut it 25 billion why are -- why are they holding hearing to talk about our needs you can't meet our needs without investment. we haven't raised federal gas tax since 1993. when a guy named bud brought a bunch of republicans to vote with the democrats and we with raised the gas tax. 24 states in just the last couple of years have recognized the needs and done it. and there's been no action here. we're promised a trillion or dallas downtown by the white house. and then they come out with outline of $200 billion. maybe -- sort of. and you know, that might just be ppp's but then the president said he doesn't like ppp's it's
time for someone to take the lead and this committee should take the lead. time to put proposals out and push the house to act. thank you mr. chairman. >> i like to welcome our panel, and first we've got mr. patrick kennedy director of the missouri department of transportation he's behalf of the american association state highway and state transportation official. we've also got chief executive officer granite corporation on behalf of the transportation construction coalition. mr. brett booker secretary of treasurer at northern american building trade union and carr thy chief executive officer the soarpghted industries and missouri he's here on and a half of the national association of manufactures. and mr. peter, executive officer of sound transit. and with that i would ask unanimous consent that our witnesses full statements be include haded in the record and without objection that is still ordered and still you're written testimony is going to be concluded in entirety in the
record committee would trust you limit here summary to five minutes and with that i will start with mr. mckenneth. >> members of the sub committee thank you for the opportunity to provide perspective of the nation state department of transportation. my name is patrick and i serve as erkt doctor of the missouri department of transportation. today it is my honor to testify on behalf of the great state of missouri and which represents transportation department of all 50 states, washington, d.c. and puerto rico. as members of congress in the president consider building transportation infrastructure package please consider the following, the future of the federal highway trust fund must be secured through long-term sustainable revenue solution. direct federal pupgding is immediated instead of relying on incentives that encourage use of private capitol or borrows wherever federal authorities should be assigned to states to expedite extremely line project delivery. priority should be girch to transportation invest 789s that secure our nation's future for the instead of l shovel ready
projects in the existing federal program structure including highway, transit is and rail should be utilized to enable investments to flow to every region of the country. the fast act was the first long-term funding legislation had since 2005. this allowed for funding sernghts and planning also increased amount of federal tundz available that can be matched with state dollars. prior to the fast tax there was federal pupgding instability in missouri was in the difficult position of considering abandoned maintenance on 26,000 out of 44,000 mile roadways since the passage of the fast act missouri taken on more financial risk as a state increased capitol budget by $3 billion other five years i want to thank members of this comet for your work to pass a fast act, into appeal for your continued action to create funding stability. united states department of transportation notes this 2015 that state and local governments provided 80% of funds invested in highway and bridge programs and 74% of funds newscasted in
transit programs. i cite numbers because ash dale and members disagree with notion that federal transportation funding displaces or discourages sate and local investment my example of funding stability shows missouri increased its budget alongside as a result of federal investment. the highway trust fund is provided stable reliable, and substantial highway and transit funding for decade but this is no longer the case. according to the congressional budget office, annual highway trust funds spending estimating to exceed receipts by 16 billion dollars by 2021 without your action, missouri will be right back in the position we were prior to the fast act. missouri can see a 40% reduction in funds. 400 million dollars less for the state. krit kales maintenance and improvements will stop. ash dale believes that an infrastructure package must focus on direct grant funding rather than federal financing support. the state d.o.t. continue to support a role for financing and procurement tools such as public
private partnership and maintain that financing loan, tax exempt and private act bonds and infrastructure banks are inis sufficient to meet most types of transportation investment needs. any new infrastructure plan should focus on the needs of rural america. rural areas remain critical to the nation's economic success through the production and movement of goods such as agriculture had and manufacturing products. ash dale believes that we can improve program deliverly by assigning by the federal government to states that wish to participate including federal ponds obligation management project agreements and right away opposition and ask congress to consider with a delivery pilot program to develop pin no vattive practices to stream is line delivery achieve a positive environmental outcomes. missouri has more than a thousand miles of the mississippi and missouri rivers 12.5 billion dollars in cargo travels up a endown those waterways each year and seen how
they can pay long-term dividends many fast five years 13 million dollar in state investment and court leads to 53 million in investment from the private sector. missouri's cost share program enables us to leverage contributions from local communities with state and federal puppedz to advance construction priority since inception 450 million in state participation has led to delivery of more than a billion dollars of construction projects. we urge congress to build on partnership what is flourished between the federal government and state d.o.t.s the flex to believe the let state and local governments elect projects based on public input allows local partners to work together to meet the unique needs of both urban and rural areas please take the necessary steps to ensure that all modes of transportation rail, ports have access to additional pral resources that will keep our citizens connected an provide economic growth. i want to thank you again for the opportunity to testify today and i'm happy to answer any questions. >> thanks, mr. roberts --
>> mr. chairman, ranking member and thank you for convening today's hearing. my name is kim jim roberts president chief president, we are full service infrastructure solutions provider performing as a general contractor, construction management firm and material producer head quartered in california and granite approved across our great country across america or work improve efficiency of the gears of commerce whether representative in alaska, arizona, o'california roadway or represented by airport the runway expansions or even in the formal of sprawr projects of regional and national significance such as the tappan zee bridge replacement in new york we're apartment of the community in which we build. i'm pleased to appear today on behalf of the transportation construction coalition or tcc. the tcc is partnership of 31 national associations in
construction unit full tcc roster include in the my written testimony. from 60 years after the visionary investment in our interstate highway system the still supports are economy today the country once again is ready to rally behind a bold federal infrastructure vision backed by a significant commitment to fund this vision. taking to after decades of federal inaction more than half of the states in our country have increased funding commitments to their transportation program it is in the past few years. now, as perfect time for leadership to reemerge at the federal level. mr. chairman let's begin with the highway trust fund with a well known permanent shortfall that impedes ability of state and local governments to plan, fund, construct transportation projectses wheal while it was passed in 2018 and enacted last year it is still not fully funded it states follow past practices as expected, then had some will start scaling back planned projects as early as 2019 due to federal funding uncertainty. the fast acts reform the highway and public transportation
programs in a more than a that emphasize meeting national goals while providing states additional flexibility. the policy improvement was significant but the funding commitment has pailed in comparison we encourage congress to allocate and leverage investment of any new resource among existing prime ministers in a way that emphasizes big ticket outcome such as improving competitiveness longer we wait to invest further we fall behind both to develop and sadly also the developing world in the safety quality and efficiency of our transportation power and water infrastructure. we strongly agree with 53 members of the house of representatives who have urged ways and means committee to include highway trust rest of knew fix in any tax stabilizing in tax reform would provide a function and plat porm for for a broad based infrastructure package. increasing and indexing fuel tax which has lost nearly 70% of purchasing power since 1993, is simple list most efficient
short-term fix, however, given the pace of the book mobility and technological change we believe that all potential funding options should be on the table to create long-term solutions to stabilize and reenvying ration and must include permanently protected and dedicated revenue streams and resources sufficient to eliminate the shortfall and to support o increase investment. while resources and structure are essential components, so too is ensuring timely delivery of projects in my written testimony we suggested some practical reforms that begin with merging the national environmental policy act in the clean water act 404 perm mitting promise with u.s. army corps of register and measure the process to reform is appropriate to mitigate today's all too common misuse of environmental laws these reforms would ensure promise of increment infrastructure thfsment would be realize master's degree a timely manner and not held up in red tape and society decades along
with a human face on our very real need to improve america's infrastructure. now at the time to act as work and investment of previous generations is beginning to crumble right in front of our eyes. we look to you, our country's leaders to guide to promote vision for critical overdue infrastructure investment in cities and rural areas across the america delayed maintenance and transportation water and power systems continues to hamp per the wellness of our country and dxz our global competitiveness. it is time to address infrastructure issues that have been ignored for decades and inaction has our current state of disprepare nationally i urge you all to take action to be strong leaders like your predecessor over 60 years ago who does visionary actions we're still relying on today now is the time for our country leadership to once again mitt to real long-term solutions. mr. chairman, thank you again for inviting tcc to participate in today eetion discussion and i look forward to your question. >> thank you mr. roberts. mr. wicker. >> good morning chairman dpraifs
norton and distinguished members of the sub committee i'm brett booker secretary building trade union on behalf of the nearly 2 million craft professionals across the united states i would like to thank you for allowing me to testify before this sub committee. building america's infrastructure is literally what our members do every day. whether it is roads and bridges, airports, waterways, power plants and other energy infrastructure municipality water systems public buildings or skyscrapers, our members apply their unique skill sets to building infrastructure and every corner of our great nation. for many many of our members to strength of the construction industry and strength of their job opportunities, is directly tied to strength of public policy and advancing the building of public sprawr. as sump i would like to thank the leadership of this sub committee moving most recent highway bill to fast act. highway bills are single largest job creating piece of legislation affecting our members and they provide certainty to our member it is that opportunities will be available for years to come. while the fast act made
important strides, and improving our nation surface transportation, i believe no one can argue that more can and must be done to further repair our nation's infrastructure. north america building traitd union believes a big, brotd, bold, infrastructure plan is a necessary step our country must take in order to solidify economic opportunities for workers and businesses across the united states. the question before this sub committee and the congress as a whole is what should a plan include? for our members of big infrastructure plan would reflect overall investment level kick king thely reiterated by trump of one trillion are dollars. we believe such an invest element not only allow us as a nation to meet many of our pressing infrastructure needs but will lay foundation for sustain economic growth and communities large and small. and spurring economic growth a plan of this magnitude should e i say must increase the standard of living for americans across the nation. in order to do so the immense buying power of the federal government must not be used as lerchl to depress wages and
local communities especially construction wages which adjusted for inflation has been in decline since the late 1970s. therefore north america building trade union members remain insis than the that such a plan has building standards and related acts that our members have fought for over the course of generations. for our members broad infrastructure plan will encompass infrastructure but all modes of infrastructure. such as schools, municipal water systems, aviation, rail, waterways, broadband, and our energy infrastructure through new hod earn power generation facilities grid upgrids and energy transportation and distribution to address the wide infrastructure needs effectively we must address them efficiently in order to do so we believe priewpt to address our challenges through current, currently existing programs. efficiency should not breed duplicate programs to achieve the same goal, however, federal program should be created to meet infrastructure that do not have existing public mechanisms
to deliver projects. for our members of bold infrastructure plan, is one that tackles tough challenges lays out a vision for brighter future i would argue and i'm sure most if not all members of the panel and sub committee would agree that there's no greater challenge facing surface transportation than the long-term solve venn city of the highway trust fund. we support a variety of measures. to fix the trust fund and open to a variety of proposals to ensure. but we believe congress should not squander such an important opportunity to address this issue. a bold infrastructure plan should also continue to tackle the challenge of major projects that have regional and national economic impacts. one such project is roughly 4 billion tappan zee replacement in new york that to date responsible for responsible for roughly 7 million hours of work and so 21 million of u.s. fuel and cubic yards of con kreet and number dos not tell you is that a project such as these and, in fact, all public infrastructure projects critical to ensure a
pipeline of skill training that north america building trade union and congestion with our industry partners provide through our privately funded register apprenticeship program spread out over formal joint management centers across the country as well as 120 aparen and roughly 1.2 billion dollars of our own capital into training our current and future members. industry and labor as well as community partners like national urban build meet challenges presented by a large infrastructure. and ronde reagan said i quote bridges and highways by fail to repair today will have to be rebuilt tomorrow at many times the cost. he went on to say rebuilding infrastructure is simple common sense that it represents investment into tomorrow that we must maybe today president reagan correct and words are as prominent today due to continued inaction with investment in our infrastructure continued inaction will place unneeded
negative pressures on american economy and time once again for infrastructure of the united states to be the envy of the world the men and women of the north america building trade unions are ready, willing, able and anxious to build right and now so that rebuilding of america begins as soon as and best as possible. thank you. >> thank you mr. booker. >> good morning chairman embraves, ranking member norton ands of the comeeft thank you for the opportunity to testify on such an important topic to missouri and hfers across the nation i'm ray i'm president and ceo of the associated industries of missouri. we're missouri's oldest business association. now our mission is to promote a favorable business climate for industry in missouri, and aim is also home of the missouri transportation and development counsel which had had its roots as the good roads federation which was formed interestingly enough by a guy named harry b. went on to be elected to congress and then to the u.s. senate. and he -- we did pass that that was to get missouri out of the mud.
and build the first hard roads in missouri. very bold proposition for for the early 1920s. but it is interesting that he also sponsored the bill that form the missouri dpght of transportation. we believe that transportation system in missouri and across the nation demands continuing care and intention because it is violation to the state's economic welfare and wallet of life aim is also official state partner of the national association of manufactures in missouri. it is learnlings trade association in unified voice of 12 million men and women who make things in america and manufactures appreciate your focus and building 21st century system because modern transportation and infrastructure systems are necessary to support modern manufacturing. we applaud bipartisan work to successfully reauthorize service programs for five years in fast act. and in october of 2016, the nam release blueprint building to win, and urged action to revolutionize infrastructure
that makes american dream possible for too long relied on transportation water, and energy infrastructure that we inherited from previous generations as other seekers alluded to. weakening our economy, threatening our comungts, and putting safety of our families at risk. freak, in missouri we rely on interstate 70 first highway to be built in the interstate system in 1956 along with several and other states. interstate 0 along with interstate 44 and 55 provide a critical raw materials and manufacture good from manufactures across the nation because of missouri location in the heart of america. the ranking member ton suggestion is a big problem already traffic is increasing cost of moving freight on nation highway by 63.4 billion mother year that's the equivalent of picture this 662,000 commercial truck drivers sitting idle for an empire work year. as modern manufacture evolve and become more productive manufacturers rely on complex and in time principles where parts are ordered made and
delivers sometimes within hours one large manufacturing company and in missouri recently lost an afternoon shift of production due to accident on i-70 to close that highway for just a couple of hour hoes. the cost of that manufacturer was more than a million dollars. such delays can be devastated spearnl for smaller manufacturers, manufacturers also rely on transit top he guilty our employees to work and if you think transit is limited to urban area you must think again because we have organizations like oats in missouri that provide vital services to rural americans. there's no excuse for delay manufacturers believe nation must undertake infrastructure effort that seeks to modernize our aging systems and makes long-term public chiment to infrastructure. manufacturers believe federal leadership and funding are needed to address bottleneck in rural and metropolitan areas to improve the wide movement of freight throughout the country allowing trust fund should be a pillar of a 21st century proposal and urges congress to shore up sun with a reliable
user based long-term sending stream. in 2015 average cost of congestion costs per trk is 23 cents up 25% of what had it was in 2014. this is really a hidden text but it is not a text that we can invest but it is wasted. being wasted on idle waiver hours and wear and tear instead of invested in highway trust fund to help build a 21st century infrastructure is m toll improve america's economic competitivend. manufacturers need federal policy make hadders to preserve and grow funding and ppsing tools for states and localities that is a bond should be protected as policymakers consider ways to expand the funding and ppsing to about private partnerships and leverage opportunities and good improvements to better deliver 21st century ur such as environmental reviews are critical to the ssks any efforts. for decades this committee is molded bipartisan governess that bipartisan leadership is needed now more than ever to deliver a
promanufacturing infrastructure package that will include a vision for modern 21st century to neglect a city wide difference in improve supply chain as well as develop long-term solutions to chronic funding issues in infrastructure program such as highway trust fund i'll be happy to answer questions. >> thank you mr. mccarthy. >> thank you chairman graves ranking member norton, charm and ranking member well i appeared before the sub committee in the past in other roles i'm particularly pleased to join you today to bring perpghtive from one of the nation's fastest growing regions. in a first address, before congress president trump declared i quote tumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnel, airport and reallyways gleaming across our very, very beautiful land we sound transit like we have transit agencies are prepared to deliver on the president's vision for gleaming
railways. while we're encouraged by president goal for infrastructure, we have been deeply disappointed by budget proposals from the administration that appear to undermine those goals. at the same time, administration officials have made other statements regard physician the infrastructure that we can applaud and endorse including the value of over matching federal funds to value of expanding program, and importance of training a skilled work force. it is clear that this committee will be key to driving this effort and such i would offer the following recommendations first i would echo what the other websites have already staid in arguing that funding in a new manufacture initiative must not substitute for base level funding authorized through fast act provided in annual appropriation act this is critical for rail transit agencies who must meet population growth. under the administration budget request 2018 the funding level saw for major knew transit expansions is effect ichly disaster ignoring the authorization you put in the
fast act. that sound transit we've been working with the fda for years to secure agreements for two extensions of light rail to find one running north to city of lynwood with other running south to the city of federal way. we are joined by many similar projects arntiond the country that seek to meet expanded demand with a strong reliable, federal partner regretly administration proposal attempts to rekindle a decades old ideological debate over the value of projects to our national mobility. smartly, states and municipalities across political spectrum have moved beyond that ideological debate and hardened to see bipartisan and congressional support for ejectinged administration cuts r expansions for fiscal 2017, and our hopeful for a similar outcome this year. second, any new infrastructure plan must include transit funding in major metro areas
most recent census tells us that our population in a economy will be increasingly urban. i won't repeat the data that miss norton cited in terms of the 70 million more americans overwhelmingly located in urban areas but in the sound region congestion has nearly doubled in just the last five years. and we are with expecting a million more citizens by 2040. without new mobility options this growth threatens to choke off our own continued prosperity. our major urban mega regions will increasingly serve as an economic minimum wage and i would use the example of -- amazon recently announced that while continuing to expand in seattle they're looking to open a second national headquarters. it's not an accident that amazon is insisting that all cities building on second headquarters provide detailed data on availability of direct access to rail, transit services. it is one of just four identified site requirements in their rfp these are the
infrastructure requirements for a 21st century economy. third, we do believe administration may be on the right track in highlighting the importance of states and localities providing robust matching funds to access new federal dollars above the base level of funding. the federal share of sound transit voter approved capital plan is just 16%. and we have already taken two major light rail expansion projects with disaster fda capital investment grant dollars and taxpayers have demonstrated remarkable levels of self-help to meet service transportation needs. the ballot measure that we pass this had past november called on the meeting voter to increase their own taxes by 169 dollars year every year to expand on mass transit network. the same legislation that let us go to the voters also increased the state's gas tax by 11.9 cents bringing us to second highest gas tax in the nation the point is we're doing a remark public level of self-help to meet our surface there was
are needs. but any federal infrastructure policy should reward this level of local effort not penalize as is proposed in the proposes budgets i would say we're supportive of efforts to streamline the federal transit projects are inhairnghtly environmentally beneficial but must be done to federal law. in the specific northwest the economic health of the region in our quality of life go hand-in-hand with the protection of our environment. streamlining the environmental review process should not mean short circuiting the process federal agents do us no favor in hastily environmental documents give project opponents an opening to delay our projects in the court. and in that regard we need to remember that litigants in this space often don't care one wid t of the environment and try to use the environmental process to slow or kill a project because it is last best chance to thwarting will of the voters or
reversing plan of a state or local government. this is not limited to transit projects or highway projects or water projects. it is the way the process works. so i would summarize but encouraging committee to take care as we do environmentally streamlining there's further progress that can be made. but please also look at the staffing levels at the if agencies the national reagencies and at d.o.t. to make sure that there's staff on hand to produce quality documents so projects are not stopped this the kowrtle. thanks very much. thank you all now going to recognize each member for five minutes for questions and i'm going to start. >> thank you mr. chairman graves, as fibs in opening statement i think one of the key components that we have to figure out a long-term funding stream i know my colleague mr. pash owe was very passionate about that as am i he has a funding plan that seems are reasonable to me there's probably i don't know, ten or a
dozen of them out there. and when you come up with a new plan, to try to peght members of congress on it it is very, very difficult. i'm trying to do that on a bill right now with faa bill that members don't seem to understand what i'm trying to do. but -- den when you're moving forward a funding stream long-term sustain public let's keep it simple. we have one in place now. we have to be looking at that one very closely before we start going off on different, different new ideas because it is very efficient. math is simple and straightforward but i'm open to everything. and that has to be it a priority for me on how to we fund this so as a i said earlier we don't kick the can down the road but i think we have to be thinking outside the box. a ways to bring dollars in. public private partnerships are nots a silver bullet. let me say that again. public private partnerships aren't a silver bullet. but it is a hell of a good tool to have in the tool bag and there's new ones out there that
we ought to be looking at and i'll ask a question about asset recycling and some of my colleagues in this say you want to sell our assets? if you look at the australian model what they did they hardly sold any assets they leased them. leasing is far different than selling. leasing is you still retain the ownership of it. you allow somebody to come in, turn that asset into cash, over time -- and the idea is to have a bonus payment to do that again australian model we met with ambassador the former -- the architect of this program in australia, and first question of a group of republicans is chinese are going to buy our assets australians said no we wouldn't let them and investors but they don't cool them. they're not on the boards. so again, it's money and money is aired the world out will there's trillions of dollars in money would love to invest and america's infrastructure project. and they're not looking for eight and 10% return if you're doing a 30 or 40 a year deal.
they're good with three and 3.5% of the pension funds and union this is this country are looking at that. i was talking to building trade union the other day and they're investing their money in canadian infrastructure. hair city isn't it? building trades investing in a foreign country no they're doing it because it is making money for tokes that they're responsible for their pensions so i think ation set recycling something we ought to consider. we ought to look at what australia has done and they've generated over $20 billion in a short period of time on top of what they spend. so again, i would ask, i would ask mr. america cena and mr. booker roberts to respond to that first, just your thoughts you're familiar with asset recycling what you think the prospects are. >> thank you mr. chairman. yes, and in fact, you know the way we look at this you have to look at these things in a project by project basis you have to benefit look at the benefits of the taxpayers, the
cost of capital, and 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 to the taxpayers in terms of reduction in congestion enhanced facilities the recycling has been done in a number of airports we're looking at missouri in a couple of airports. as well -- and then make sure that you're playing out those costs and benefits. like you said, it's a tool in the tool box. and i think that's appropriate for us to have all of the tools we can. this is a large problem we have to solve all over the country and we need all of the tools we can to do so. >> mr. roberts. >> just briefly we've been involved in few projects where we're handing financial mechanisms i would suggest should not be considered a short-term but also the long-term issue. when i think about some of the time when is we asset from a bigger bill in the long-term so
what i've seen both in the private sector and public sector long-term dcf financial models are imperative but knowing knowt you're getting rids it have before you get rid of it is imperative number here but 3p program is another tool in the tool chest for all of the our individual d.o.t. an agencies in the country. >> and not to be repetitive in lump asset along with p.p.p.'s they're not all created equal, and you know, there's some really good private partnerships out there that are doing really good things out there. there's some that aren't so good. i think when you look at the asset recycling program based on -- you know what the problem, project is what the long-term gain is, and you're right talking about our pension dollars we invest our pension dollars and projectses that make sense our first goal is to put our members to work and you have the responsibility of a trustee on pension fund to make sure
that you're getting returns that are comparative to the market so when those things add up and match up we would be in support of it but you have to take a look at case by case so see what investment strategy and standards are for workers doing that. rng thank you i freerkt that answer i agree you have case by case but some that are overrun and someone to walk away from it. go over my time but one more second only reason yict include because i knew i was going to run out of o time because if you could in writing at some point, give us your views on that or in ten seconds you could give us -- >> we, you know, transit has revenue to entice investor colorado has done it to availability payments. we ourselves being financially strong are looking about whether it makes sense for us. i think the important point is really the one you made at the beginning. should be a tool in the tool chest it shouldn't have a leg up on everything else. >> absolutely. one final point mr. chairman you'll indull only me state of connecticut --
i don't know if there's any state bluer in the country than connecticut and i don't know if they know this probably aware of it. several years ago they had all of the road side plaza on the interstate owned by state of connecticut according to our reports they were rundown service was terrible. they leased them to carlisle group years ago carlisle group came in refurbished them all and put composition so mcdonald's versus burger king against starbucks against dunkin' donuts and i'm told they're gleaming, beautiful travel plazas with great service. and they're playing the state of connecticut money back into the coughers instead of going other way so it can't be done. has been done that's probably a small scale. but in a state is like connecticut can do it my goodness, texas can do it. and pennsylvania i hope will do it. but again, thank you all very much. ...
>> with the best of facilitation through law can deal with summer between ten and 12% of of our infrastructure needs. so that still leaves a hell of a lot on the table, 88-90%. so yes, p3 is fine, well regulated is great but that's not a solution and it's not even the major tool in the toolbox and it can't be. there's a really interesting new statistic which is that the toll rate per mile for a p3 toll road
is 30 cents. and the rate for a non-p3 toll road is 14 cents. that does raise some questions about what we're going to do to the american driving public and the trucking industry. if we're going to go principally down the p3 route. so these things need to be discussed. also 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 tibia for 80-80% of their needs. so the private capital puts up ten, 15% and then they turned to the federal government. i think it points to the absolute essential need for us to a robust long-term spending stream. and one, delivers things the american public at the least cost. and direct federal partnership with the states is the way to do that. just to comment on the salesman down at the australian embassy
who i met with. they did it for two years. it was a success. they did it for two years and most of the money went to two of their provinces and one was -- have been selling things off for years on their own and then they got an expert bonus payment from the federal government to do yet another sale of assets that already been doing. if we follow that model we'll take gas tax dollars which don't exist on already in short supply, and will go to local jurisdictions who already have the authority if they so wish to sell off their ports for the airports or whatever they want to do. that's up to the local jurisdiction. the federal government doesn't need to bribe him with dollars that we don't have to do that. it was a dumb idea and australia. a new government came in and said we're done with that. put all of the remaining money back into the national program and to correctly distribute it back out across the country.
so it didn't work there. it's not going to work here, and we just shouldn't go down that false path. mr. mckenna i agree with everything you said. has your organization presented these ideas to this administration? >> we have been participating with roundtable discussions that have occurred. we certainly support and aashto supports a robust discussion on baseline funding but we also understand that we have to have flexibility in the program as well. and state devotees are recognizing the fact that we have to look at procurement methods that maybe are not just the simple protuberant methods of the past event open ourselves up in the case of particular projects that are very complicated and very difficult to structure financially. we're looking at those possibilities, design build finance, those types of things, those are good and natural helpers were even were even
close with our construction partners to bring innovative solutions to the engineering problems that we face. it's a combination itself. it's not a one-size-fits-all but dot's have to open up to our own approach as though because that's part of the solution also. >> i totally agree with you on that and the federal government should facilitate that, not hobble them by prescriptive means but you would still say a robust additional federal investment is still critical to most states. >> yes. >> one of the quick question. i realize, chairman, i went over two minutes i will take a little latitude. 24 states have already raised their gas tax or raised funds one way or another. and yet the administration is talking about providing incentives to states that raise the revenues in the future.
i think, and if you have ideas on this, , i mean, some states have already gone up to the bar, taken the risk. i would say that if we are going to provide an incentive that should have a look back. would anybody disagree and look at back, because the state already did what was right and then they could want to do more, they could get more incentive but there should be some sort of look back and not reward the 2062 haven't done a damn thing. does anybody disagree with that? >> i would just add one other option, mr. defazio. there is been a level of effort requirements so that doesn't necessarily look back a set period of time i see is what a state or municipality has done over a longer, historically but it does take a look at the self-sacrifice that made it for they come to the federal well, and that makes sense. >> could you provide information on that? >> i'll have to good to get out but yes. >> great. anybody else have a comment on that?
>> a quick, on opening statement. i want to thank you for your passion on the subject, and i can't agree with what you said in your opening statement anymore, so, that this is and i think ms. norton mentioned the same thing, this is a network system. this is a federal issue. there are a lot of tools in the tool chest but the federal issue and the federal funding is the single most important portion of this. the alternative procurement methods can get more efficiencies, and how we procure the work. we got construction manager, general contractor associations today. we got at risk jobs, 3p, those alternatives are great to think you hit the nail on the head relative to the primary force today is that we need additional funding from the federal government to get all those programs enacted. i want to thank you for your passion. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i yield my time to mr. shuster. >> take each of them. i want to.
one, mr. robert and mr. defazio, i agree with you. more federal dollars, we've got to figure this out. that's the number one priority. but we got to look at other ways also to try to beat that up. 3. on the australian example number one it was a two-year program. so it did end in two years because he wanted to force the issue to say if you want in this program he's got to get into it quick and that's what it is. indeed it did to get. new south wales opposed this program in parliament to the bitter end. when it was passed it with the first ones in line to get this based on a first-come first serve basis. if you go to new south wales, they are -- so again, south wales opposes until it became the policy and then they were there front and center. and finally, public entities like a airports in this country, our water systems do not pay
local, state and federal taxes. when . when a private company come someone starts to run it, they pay local, state and federal taxes. that's the way the mechanism was done in australia. based on the revenue generated by this entity, whether we begin to pay in federal taxes. once again, it would just shut the door something like this without taking a good hard look i think that we are kidding ourselves. we got to figure out a funding stream. that is sustainable, long-term and would also look at these other tools in the toolbox. if we can take this 3p tool from ten-12 or signature into 15-18% that's a pretty good days work. thanks a lot. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my questions are going to center on rural america and the knees and they are also going to concentrate on long-term solvency of the trust him but i will wait until the end of the hearing and if they haven't answered -- been activated and i will turn to ms. norton thank
you, mr. chairman. chairman shuster floated what could be called a new idea relatively new idea. if you think about our transportation network, it has suffered from having relatively few new ideas, and all this time we've had this network, until recently when we didn't do very much until we were able to pass a long-term bill in 2015, we've been running on the same grid. so i am interested in the answer to chairman shuster question about exploring new ideas because it's a very different country, something i toolbox may work in someplace not. but mr. rogoff, you really maybe think about this notion of over matching or self-help.
you would think particularly with my colleagues on the other side being in charge would want to incentivize that, out of desperation of course we've seen with the gas tax people just step up without the federal match. but you described what some would call over matching, because you've gone back to your taxpayers not only for the gas tax, but for your infrastructure generally. and you are concerned that the administration which says it wants to reward such states and regions that cut. in this region, the district of columbia, we wanted desperately to have a subway stop without the new york avenue subway stop. well, because it would help develop an entire area of the
district of columbia, it was funded by business, by the district of columbia, and by the administration. not any federal transportation funds. it may be the only, and may be one of the kind in the country. but this notion of incentivizing rather than d incentivizing is of great interest to me, particularly given the endurance of new ideas. i do want to do anything, and i heard people say the federal dollars, you begin there. but but i wonder if you have gin any thought to how to encourage more jurisdictions like the sound transit to overmatch or to move ahead on infrastructure while being assured that it
wouldn't be punished by the federal government. now, i'm looking for incentives 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 the own local reasons to, in fact, received some award, , or let's call it encouragement, some incentive for the federal government. have you given any thought to that? it's you who put the thought in my head in the first place. >> iq, ms. norton. i have given it some thought and is been taught to it in the past, and that is when you talk but these major trends of expansions we should first recognize that unlike the classic 8020 split of an 80% 80% federal investment to 20% local investment, by lot where that 50% of the projects were seeking assistance for fun fta right that we're looking for 40%
federal funding to get and 25% funding to get the federal way. these are efforts where making because we are determined to get there and the region congestion being what it is needed very -- >> are you saying, for example, if want to do something new, perhaps take less of a federal match speedy we are being back into that approach i think in part by federal budget policy. when i talk about being penalized for over matching, it was a specific right at that came out of omb when the presidents budgeting for the called out by name the puget sound area, los angeles and denver, and pointed out as a rationale to eliminate the federal partnership, the fact we've gone to our voters and raise our own taxes for transit expansions. >> this is what i mean, mr. chairman. if you want to encourage what puget sound with sound transit
did elsewhere, then we ought to be, and a interested in discussion with you, how can we use that rather than punish that at a time when it's a difficult to get funding? i did want to ask mr. mccain a question because he represents a whole state of missouri -- mr. mckenna. he spoke about the immediate crisis in rural areas. i couldn't agree more. if we're having trouble in what is a relatively wealthy area in this region, i can imagine if we going to southern virginia, for example, they must be going through. but you represent an entire state. while you called attention to the media crisis in rural areas, i wonder what you'd see by cities like st. louis or kansas city that have pressing needs at the same time? what i'm trying to get you, mr. mckenna, is what this committee has always avoided,
and that is pitting one part of the region against another part, going back to the eisenhower administration and the recognition that this was one vast network. so i'm the first to acknowledge the media crisis or i don't feel are able to do anything. i wonder how you bring together, you who represent the entire state, big cities like st. louis and kansas city with places that can't possibly find any other transportation are very few other transportation needs like railroads. >> i would like to add to that come just the insurance of those rural areas across the country, how do we ensure that they are not left out in this process. >> antifa the question. in missouri what we do is reallocate the limited resources that we have based on objective criteria. its simmer to the allocation that is done by congress with the surface transportation to and that's why we think it's
important -- similar. look at our rural areas, for instance, we are just now undertaking replacement of the champ clark bridge which connects parts of rural missouri with illinois. have not had that underway, our world committees would have a 7e went down. it was built originally in 1928. likewise with structures in st. louis and kansas city that carry 120,000 cars a day. it all comes down to dollars in cincinnati allocate those. an objective director for allocating resources is critical so that neither area feels that they been disadvantaged over the other. we use population, employment data, size of the infrastructure, vehicle miles traveled, and square footage of bridge to allocate resources among the region to the urban areas receive a larger share of the pie but they should. the rural areas receive the
relative 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 in a price for us, and we get to build up resources over years to subsidize the area to be able to make that. because your point is taken that this entire system is connected and if with any of those connections go down where disconnecting the committees themselves. if the allocation of resources objectively i think is an editor to that but recognizing that there's not enough money come into the top line to satisfy all the needs in any of the region is really critical. >> chairman shuster made a very important point, and it perhaps was a beneficial to where he represents any said rural areas pay more in gas tax but the key point out what they get back in over funding. and again if we lose that notion
that you don't ultimately lose by the funding of a network of transportation and infrastructure, then we have lost the great american transportation lesson. i thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman here first question will go to mr. mckenna or mr. mccarty. we've made a lot of progress in the past act encouraging transportation the national highway freight program and other initiatives. how can we improve on that? infrastructure package. do you see that program working out what kind of improvements? >> go ahead. thank you for the question. we appreciate that. from the manufacturers standpoint we are not saved experts and we need someone to be able to tell us reliable safety scores. we have right now manufacturing members of the national association of manufacturers who order to trial by judge after
they hired a twice satisfactory rated motor carrier because of the judge was confused whether the data presented by the plaintiff with her to set satisfactory safety rating in indicated the motor carrier had been deemed safe to operate on the nation's highways. >> i think you are answering the second question. the first question was about the freight program. >> if i might, thank you for the question. we feel that the freight program is actually focusing our efforts as a state, and it's doing so reasonably. we think the provisions of both map-21 fast act that encouraged every state to put together a freight plan and work with a local partners to do so, as a baseline for further investment was important. we did so in missouri in 2014. we are actually using that as the baseline for a lot of our primary cost-benefit on our construction projects that we looking at. we know that a secondary benefit will occur when we remove these
bottlenecks to encourage commerce. there will be at passenger benefit as well and the safety benefit on top of that. i think it is working and i think that remaining to the focus is important. >> mr. mccarty, before you get to my second question is going to ask you, my first win as you mentioned about the importance of municipal bond, tax-exempt bond and i don't think that's in our framework but nobody do i collaborate on why that's so important. >> sure. tax reform is being considered, we think it's important we preserve the ability to deduct the interest on those miscible fonts. because it preserves another funding measure that can be used to generate funds that we need to fix the roads. these municipal bonds right now if you take away the tax detectability of them that can make them less attractive. we would like to make sure they are considered as you go forward, it's that something that is just positive to the balance sheet. it's something that could act as an incentive to maintain that
tax detectability and generate more investment. >> my question i think your story to enter before, dealing with, you mention in your testimony about one hiring standard for trucking companies. in the past act we mandated a review of the csa, the complaint safety and accountability program, event also give any comments on that and the recommendation for the national academies? >> yes. as i started to say before, the csa, we think safety schools are important but they're not something that manufacturers can come up with and can be expected. we are manufacturers, not motor carriers. we do rely on them to regulate motor carrier safety. putting manufacturers in the middle of that leads to unhappy consequences for the manufacturers that can get caught in lawsuits. currently there's no requirement for manufacturers to check any of those qualifications when they hire a motor carrier.
if we established a national hiring standard for something that provides some protection of those manufactured that they hired the motor carries we think that we something to consider. >> i just have problems with it the way was set up in 2010, the csa, and it dings or truckers unfairly for an insurance rate, it also when carriers like, customers like the manufacturers are looking at the truckers, the trucking companies, they are unfairly treated. that doesn't give a real snapshot of what's really going on. hopefully we can get that fixed. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, i'd like to note and think some of my colleagues here that we've launched a bipartisan congressional infrastructure caucus, that includes mr. graves and mr. duncan and john pat
maloney. we'll be working to get our colleagues in all different committees not just this committee. as we've been discussing here today the revenue aspects are incredibly important. that the false ways and means and energy and commerce as well as we look at how technology is rapidly changing the needs and demands. i wanted to let you know that an urge in your my colleagues who are not yet members, sign up today. okay, mr. defazio is starting the bidding, thank you. we are being outcompeted by china and other countries that are robustly investing in their infrastructure, and we don't have 20 or 40 years to wait to get on with it. mr. mccarty, you encapsulated the remarks of many of the manufactures in my district who are looking at us and saying how can you possibly compete with i can't get my goods to market? i can get my workers or to the factory. that's the number one complaint in my state of connecticut is actually transportation, more than taxes, more than anything else. and so this problem has been
brewing for decades. everybody here has mentioned it. we need revenue. we need revenue when you can do financing at a think a lot of us are open to creative ways of financing. but we have a serious revenue problem. we have rely to a struggling user fees. the world is changing. cars are more efficient. we did an index the gas tax. we are having alternative fuels, and number of members of congress drive vehicles that don't make any gas tax whatsoever. and we need to look down the road. my kids never take cars. they use a car sharing service will look at autonomous vehicles. i'd like all of you to help with us take about how i'm going to look at those aspects? how are we going to be evaluating projects based on future infrastructure needs when we had such a rapidly changing technology, rapidly changing usage patterns, increasing urbanization which mr. rogoff
talked about. we will be needing to do a lot more transit if you look at the demographic pattern. that's happening very fast and we will need your help in thinking that through. that's one question. another one is on the p3s, one of the concerns i am and i think they to be part of the next, but that prioritizes making revenue not necessarily what is in the publics interest in meeting those needs. so it meets certain kinds of projects. it may be very smart for something like high-speed rail in the northeast where you know actual high-speed rail would have revenue stream and need massive investment. maybe that works. for a lot of things it doesn't. would love to hear your thoughts on life cycle costs and fix it first. a lot of my concern again with creative financing mechanisms are they cannot do with actually fixing current infrastructure. it prioritizes something that can create a new revenue stream. and living in older part of
infrastructure in the northeast, you know, we are concerned and i do want to point out my state is one of the states that that is continue to raise the gas tax. and yet some of the proposal on the table, and mr. lipinski and mr. davis and i were at the white house weeks ago, and they're talking about incentivizing states to step up. my state has been stepping up for some time now so i think it's important we really not punish states have already taken the steps to reward ones that have not. so just a few questions and anyone who wants to get started, thank you. >> i might quickly take the question on life cycle costs, because as you pointed out, especially in the northeast, areas like connecticut, you get systems like metro-north and others that have been deteriorated over time with age and the struggle to recapitalize and rebuild what they've got. i think it is right for this committee in crafting a new initiative to whether its
highways, transit, water or anyone to ask project sponsors to identify and evaluate the merits of their proposals based on not just the ability to build it but they are having the revenue streams to maintain it. it's something we started at the federal transit administration when i was there and that is at least, the question was if were going to invest in expanding your footprint, shouldn't we at least know how you're doing and maintain your current footprint? we have a mechanism in sound transit and our ballot measures the voters adopt the capital plan and they adopt increase taxes. taxes are then rolled back to the level necessary to operate and maintain it. so we have a revenue stream for maintenance, great many of the systems don't. when helping the price for that and it is certainly a question whether its highways are transit or water, people should be asking. >> and if i may just answer on the fix it first. we certainly, we are proponentsd
new construction and certainly feel there's an unbelievable need in this country for new rail, new water, newbridge, new roads and highways. take a look at the american society of civil engineers most recent report on where we kurdistan with our current infrastructure a great of d+. with over 50,000 structurally deficient bridges that are citizens of drive across everyday. as we try to develop these new revenue streams to build new construction we have to focus on what is currently deficient in our country today. many bridges and tunnels that are decades old, 50, 60, 70 years old that we are putting ourselves and our fellow citizens at risk every day i've been driving over this bridges, driving through those tunnels, by getting on that on the amtrn and riding on rail that is deficient. we have to come up with a way to fix our existing system as we
also continue to meet the challenges of today's society of the growing needs of what we have. >> and if i might come with regard to looking at the entire capital plan. i think where to look at this whole bill really like a a coue of like an investment portfolio. there's not a particular solution is going to meet the needs of every region of the country uniformly. from the standpoint of aashto and a state dot, the flexibility being, opening of the flexible of the surface transportation so that states can meet the local needs peer where the planning framework that we go through utilizing metropolitan metropog organizations, and regional planning commissions that the needs of those communities, they know best what their needs are, whether it's new construction, expansion for capacity, or fixing the existing system. and the flexibility to utilize the federal funds in concert with those local needs i think is a critical aspect.
>> i would just add one more comment if i could. a maintenance issue is gotten so big in this country that when you look alone in the state of california $140 billion $40 billion of backlog maintenance to get the system, both the interstate system and the actual local systems up to grade, that is almost a half to priority. we cannot and funds just for expansion when we haven't taken care of what we have already. and i would suggest a lot of the states today are focusing on that because they understand that backlog is gotten so immense that if they don't take care of it, the cost basis goes up exponentially if they don't take care of it initially. i would commend the legislature in california to putting together a $50 billion program to mostly focus on getting that entire infrastructure transportation system up to speed so that they can move forward from this point on. a backlog and the long-term versus the short-term, we've got to take of the short-term otherwise we won't have a long-term. >> mr. davis. >> mr. chairman, can i ask for
point of personal privilege quick before i get started? i would like to see the committee welcome back my good friend who just knocked in the back bay looks like his back at work right now, but stand up, matt. he is recovering well from the tragedy he experienced a few months ago. [applause] welcome back, my friend. hey, quick question for anybody on the panel. raise your hand if you think that we can stabilize and solidify the highway highway td by just raising the gas tax. you guys have listened well to the people behind you because of the use get as the same question by s. that's what's great about this hearing, because we are finally talking about diversification. it's peter defazio rage over the fact we have an addressed many issues that we listen to a few minutes ago. and schuster talking about i
think is part of that diversification asset recycling. p3, the discussion here is very bipartisan if the discussion that a few of us others at the white house the other morning was centered on infrastructure and how do we be able, how do we solidify and had we stabilize our infrastructure dollars? and but has a lot of ideas. why can't we use them all? now, diversification is something i been talking since i got here for in a half years ago. how do we diversify? what do we do to make sure that we are ready for the next genen of vehicles? i think we all agree because none of you raised your hand that the gas tax is only answer, and how on one hand we have our highway trust fund funded by one source that this same federal government all of us who are participants in, we tell you to burn less of it. i think what should scare everybody sit at the table and everybody here is that we get countries like france to say the
next 20s they don't want a single gasoline powered vehicle on the roadway. let's say president is half right. what does that mean for the percentage of electric vehicles that on our roadways ask what are we going to be able to do to actually have a -- imagine, imagine when electric technology gets into the fleet level. what will that do besides desmet 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 got to come up with a plan that will get votes. and also a to say that instead of just discuss solutions like we're doing today, what is going to get us to an actual bill that's going to pass. that's where we need your help, because we all agree something has to be done, the funny thing about washington is those details, the things that stick us out. now, you all agree that we need
diversification. who wants to be the first one to tell me what plan is going to work best? anybody? mr. mckenna. thank you were talking about world illinois. great place. >> absolutely. absolutely. again, we would talk about diversification i think we have to recognize that as fuel efficiency increases, the revenue will decrease in the gas tax. i'd like to point out something -- [inaudible] create engines up unless. >> i'd like to point out something that's going on in the state of georgia right now. in 2151 of the aashto members put an insulator onto their gas tax. they raise the gas tax at the basement and then they put in a flight on that in part use the fuel economy of the entire georgia vehicle fleet so that just kicked in this past year. crit and adjustment so they did
lose any money into their own revenue based on the rising fuel economy. we're going to have to look for things that create some way to adjust through to the new future -- the new future but not to forget the baseline of what the funding is that will get us there. >> mr. rogoff, i didn't see your hand because speakers it's quite all right. i wanted to flag mr. david that washington state save one of tw states that have stepped up and taken the invitation from federal highways to study road uses charges are at our commission is currently launching a project involving some 2000 drivers across the state, also partnered with oregon and idaho in this, to look at road uses charges and that they might work and some people will have out on the phone to measure their miles. [inaudible] >> it's not just by mileage.
they are defining usage in a right edge of a waste if you look at three different constructs so we can report back to this committee a variety of alternatives. they are also looking specifically at how that might work with electric vehicles, given, as you pointed out, the greatly diminished fuel consumption of those vehicles and what the right charge for the vehicles might be. >> i know my time is up and i've got a question i'm going to send to you that i would like to get answered on on one of the programs. but anybody on the panel drive a full electric vehicle? no freeloaders. i yield back. [laughing] >> thank you, mr. chair. first of what you note the relative consensus in testimony for today several of our panelists have highlighted along with congressman defazio the need to stabilize the highway trust fund. but also to seek additional revenue sources to fund needed infrastructure investment. i was glad to 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 goods movement network and that they can be financed by users of the freight infrastructure. so it's a user fee. my plane has bipartisan support and would raise approximately $8 billion a year for these investments. there may be other solutions. i'm glad to hear, talking about diversification, but 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. so mr. mckenna, either question for you first. missouri state freight plan notes that truck volume is projected to increase by over 50% between 2011-2030. across the country cargo bollards are up to record highs and addressing this straight on
our freight network is a key challenge for the years forward. i represent the port area in long beach adjacent to l.a. without the highest amount of growth l.a. injures, long beach recently had the highest one-month tour. the questioner to you is if you like states like yours rt freight corridors will have the resources they need to meet the increased volume without a dedicated freight infrastructure funding from the federal government? >> thank you for the question. i do not believe we have the resources required to meet that need. i don't believe we have the resources required at present to meet the current need. so we welcome the focus on freight. it is a critical aspect of our economy in the state, and we are focused on that element. we will be bringing a grant
forward as part of the discretionary program in the coming couple weeks and we are focused on freight. >> thank you. next question for the entire panel. the fast act in 2015 2015 creaa new program to direct federal investment to critical freight infrastructure needs. however, the administration recently announced changes to that that would reduce this programs 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? now that which is going to go to those that have the lowest federal cost. i'd like, anybody, how are we going to deal with this issue? >> thank you here as you start prioritizing things will be done in missouri and i'm sure in other places is we've had the
director mentioned, we had these in pianos and regional organizations to try to prioritize what their needs are. we do have the luxury of trying to even analyze how much money we're getting back of what the mac is the ability of where i need you are. really the needs are really all over the place. from the manufacturers standpoint we want to make sure the entire system is connected and i think that's important you have to look at connectivity as well. >> but the question him and i agree with you completely about connected and i believe multi modal approach that really deals with connectivity is critically needed so i concur with you. but but of want to ask you aboue administration's approach to now your ties freight infrastructure by looking at those that advantage programs that have a low federal cost share versus what was done in the past act to look at the most worthy projects. that's quite a bit of difference. anybody have any thoughts about
what the administration has recently done. it does make any difference to you that we're going to just target those projects that have the smallest amount of federal cost sharing. mr. mckenna. >> what we are looking at is the overlap. those most significant to the state can most significant to the region will also draw additional support from local sugar grower greater cost sharm in our state, and that is playing out. so we are acting on a discretionary basis to look for those things that align both, that we can bring local resources to bear where we can and try to our share. >> obviously since the federal government is reducing its responsibility, and has been, you have to look at other local sources. but do you agree we should be looking at -- you said you are trying to do a balance between
those at a both locally funded, larger cost share, and also those that are the most worthy projects. i don't think that's what the administration has gone. they have not really talked about the most worthy projects. okay, i yield back. thank you. >> being another california member, we have a lot of issues we're trying to overcome there. the recent gas tax and vehicle registration tax have really, has been really controversial. some are seeing it as a as a wl of dollars for these projects, but when it's written in such a way to not add a new lane, no new capacity, a lot of that money is being diverted for other things as well as a continued effort to invest in the high-speed rail system in california which tripled in price from its original form, and is still bound up by delays and all that. i think the people of
california, when you talk about a gas tax increase of any sort whether it's a statewide or a federal one, the taxpayers will get fed up because you don't believe or trust the dollars will execute to the highways. that's what i'm concerned about with california. a small percentage of what is being foisted upon a well actually be getting to the roads with none of it being a new capacity. so that said, part of the area that we've talked about nfs how do we make dollars that we already have in stream go farther? one of my other committees, natural resources committee, we work to build through to the wr supply permitting coordination act, which garnered a one-stop shop for permitting process by establishing a lead agency, the bureau of reclamation as the lead for reviews, permits, license and other decisions which has to do with surface water in storage projects. what i'm looking forward from
this panel here, i would imagine you would find that helpful for doing other types of infrastructure, building and repair. so maybe, start with mr. roberts on that. you mentioned the overlap on that was something that has brought frustration. what would you think, what would be some highlights, if we have a lead agency in road, repair, et cetera, how helpful would 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 question relative to the brand-new build a passed in california. inside that $50 billion bill to our instruments for congestion and our instruments in therefore reduced or increased efficiencies. interesting enough i agree that an oversight group that can bring in different areas of the
government to create a more efficiency is appropriate in california they just put an oversight group, an inspector group over the top of the dot to create more efficiencies actually put into that last bill a reduction in in the amount of money spent at the duty to great efficiencies going forward to be able to enact the additional revenue. >> used to do a multi-stop alphabet soup of other agencies with permitting efficient, while but then came, epa, whoever else might get a piece that. >> i agree. what you are suggesting is the next phase. there were some efficiencies put in that bill or i would agree having an oversight editing the same thing would happen if look into the environmental regulations that we see across the country, having some significant common oversight, whether it be as i mentioned in my testimony, whether it's for the corps of engineers, the clean water act or the eis studies -- >> california's own -- there's
unnecessary things were having to research. go ahead. >> i agree. the fact you have some common oversight you can create a lack of redundancy and some simplicity which will be more beneficial. >> what other things can we be doing federally to further streamline that would complement what we've been talking about? >> number one i thought would be the environmental side, is by far the quickest most economical way to do it is to tie in neva and the corps of engineers to get the permitting process sped up and get the eis systems spe. >> all right. mr. rogoff, the one-stop shop idea you were talking about staffing up more so some of these agencies, perhaps we always have to find funding or have faith that staffing up will actually need, the rubber meets the road in getting the work done. do you think with maybe a combined staffing up as well as
the efficiency were talking about, would we need nearly as much that are would one stop shopping a compass both? the big concern i i would agree 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. those are the agencies i'm talking about. small agencies like fisheries, the park service, epa, the army corps, they have different parts of the law they must apply. they need to look at them and of which would sometimes a culture of it all the way they could get their concerns attended to is by throwing up a red flag or stopping a project. that culture needs to change what i think if you to put people into these that this could be done smartly more
quickly, we do need -- we do need to make sure there they're officially resourced to do the job. i think a concept of combining streamline with a staffing plan that gets funded by the appropriations subcommittees would be on point. >> it seems like a lot more simultaneous coordination with one of the smaller ones as you mentioned telling the other ones here's what we need, instead of back to back chain, making five years what each one is getting their turn. >> some positive steps have already been taken. for example, we at sound transit and other sponsors that as result of the fast act as of earlier authorities are about to pay money to the federal agencies to help and staff up. the staff people we pay for cannot work on our documents but they can work on other documents freeing up, freeing some of those to work documents. >> my time has expired.
>> i'm impressed by the panel that's been assembled. i'm impressed by this body displaying bipartisanship. it seems like all hands are on deck him but still we're in the same place of no action. where's the sense of urgency? where is the sense that come how may times when to listen to experts? how may times want to listen to these elegant speeches about bipartisan we are? how many times do i have to hear make america first? and knowing that if we checked the box on an investment in our infrastructure, we know that we will build, we will make sure that we have jobs in america. creating a skilled workforce. this is global competition. i know there's an international bridge we we're trying to builn michigan, to talk about bring 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 not yet talk about it, and then watch out administration defund and not give us the proper amount of money? clearly we have experts and we are experienced enough here in congress to start moving the ball down the road. we know that we need to raise the gas tax. check that box. we know we need to have ppp. we know that is a part of the success of moving a transportation plan. we know we need to work together. we got that. we have heard that allocation of funds, and we keep playing with numbers as if we just poll numbers out of the air to say okay, today it's 1 trillion, to market 600 million. where are we going to have -- tomorrow it's -- that will move
us forward and say now it's time to do it? i just have one quick question that it's not really a a questn but i needed for the record. mr. booker, you have across this country been one of the faces of building this workforce, of creating jobs. could you please state for the record if we as this country, and this elected body and administration keep our word about investing in our infrastructure, how many jobs do we create in this country? >> tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. and when you do it with long-term stability of infrastructure funding, you are 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 and 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 to people that's going to last them a lifetime. >> the fact of the matter is the average age of a a skilled trae worker in america's 53. we are facing a crisis in america where we are going to see a whole workforce retiree 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 shells and the ground, as a start employing these young people to replace this aging workforce, and to really invested 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/or rural societies together and urban areas, a lot of on the east coast, are highly dependent on real roadways to get goods 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 the 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 thoh you had this beautiful highway from really from fort smith arkansas all the way up to kansas city down to new orleans, what having that tulane curvy road undone means to the rest of the transportation on interstate 40 that? >> 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 have come for 30 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? all argue 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 and 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 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 police state and local taxes are collected on
construction materials, projects that are funded with federal dollars. now, mr. mckenna, i think missouri has an exemption for that where the extent 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. what we seem our communities have actually invested those in the federal system, in the state system beyond the local meat is spelled. 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. >> 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 singh 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 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. american society of and civil engineers note there is an 836 billion, billion, backlogged of which 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 debt by passing the five-point to billion every year transportation for ten years but it was passed on a bipartisan basin 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. surprisingly, they are pursuing a mad method to appeal 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 sp1 is needed to address those challenges? how many jobs is a creating and the impact would be in repealing sp1 on our economy. >> i would be happy to because i think sv1 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 come in the state of california it has been continually underfunded and actually in the 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 bills, hyper vehicles, it 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 this does not address conjecture but it doesn't address a large expansion but 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-dollar 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 actually have 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 20 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 at the time but 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. i want to talk about what we can talk about to the store 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 the 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 constituents call and tell me they were angry about the 3 billion-dollar 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 retell to tell folks that if you trust us with another ten or $20 billion in trust fund we will not just wasn't on 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 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 architecture 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%? >> 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 every saturday. 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. >> they 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 avoid 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 and it is 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 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 in your industry deserve that and we can do that together. i thank you for being here today i you back mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you 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 pain 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 replace real federal gas tax revenues with public, private partnerships? >> i believe it requires that we do both. >> do you believe that one would
be or 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 needh 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 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 her 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. >> well, [inaudible] four out of five with the --
>> four out of five are raising their hands and i would like to ask him about 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 for and i see a may be 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 him a question. my question is whether you believe that since 1993, gas tax has been 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 impart parochial. the state of washington is just increased the gas tax, the second increment of a 12 sent gas increase and i worked for a board of 18, 17 elected officials and they do not as i know have a position on raising the gas-x. 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. >> 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 and a shopping center versus an urban resident in 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. are you back. >> mr. larson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. being not on the subcommittee but being allowed to participa 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 voted for the variety about taxes that we raised for the s t3, as 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 we are in this debate but moving forward for st2, completion of st to can you jusg the certainty of the 2018 budget then the federal obligation might not be there to move forward. >> 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 glenwood just as we will 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 cycle. we were not successful in securing dollars for lynnwood and we believe it would be eligible for and we have to each step in the process worked with the fta and work with our delegation and work with other transit agencies like ours and this is not just about sound transit and 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 worked. 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 matt. >> so, just to put into perspective on that again, the federal government federal spending 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 the voters and you for the earlier complaint about being called out of the presidents budget as regions to terminate the participation but they also called out los angeles and 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 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 perspective i'm getting. [inaudible conversations] >> it benefits everyone. >> finally, i will note that when the eye 35 bridge collapsed and for the record if we can get back to when we had the collapse in minneapolis and that 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 from the i'd appreciate it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i haven't question and it's parochial for the committee overall. missouri has received grants for the service transportation funding program for 16 and 17 and i'd be curious if you could tell the committee what the primary says 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. we are looking at in missouri 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 and missouri. the first round of the grant we received the small grant 250,000, that was to study the 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 extraordinary lee aggressive 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. >> thank you again. 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 pass, parks and recreation, university research, workforce development programs and so when we go to the wheel 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 and it isn't bipartisan and you will run into more problems to vote for a new deal to waste 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-dollar increase in total crossed 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 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 in 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 is 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 incentives to buy those vehicles they contribute a small fraction of using the same roads so what you see, mr. mckenna across the board besides california's
delays until $202,100. what do you see another state 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 in your receiving 20 and we both drive 10000 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 because we been controlled and 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. she the time. >> thank you, mr. grace. >> the other mr. graves. 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 in the structure dollars today as the federal government. i can go through and name 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
congress, hud and many others. do any of you have experience in using multiple funding streams and 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 funding streams of federal because of the cautionary on these federal 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 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 cbg through hud and development of what a community might do around a real station. 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 underweight now under these agencies that are advancing different infrastructure objectives and in many cases
perhaps objectives that aren't as high-priority as others. 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. when you talk them structure package your expecting to see this reign 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 was 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. let me ask you another question. you talk about any written on a number of your vehicles in the seattle area. how do you do your planning you
talk about how you are able to project the number of cars coming out of the roads as a result of different investments are making but how are you integrating 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 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 five and were build a lean
like rail over floating bridge which 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 was made in writing i you back. >> seen 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 director it 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 record remain open for 15 days for additional comments and information cemented by members and witnesses and be included in today's record that objection, that is so ordered and no other
>> you can watch this hearing again on our website, she's been at work. type type house pretension house transportation. the international monetary fund on tuesday raised its 2017 economic forecast for the united states but said the coming years would likely see sluggish gains in the absence of more growth oriented policy from washington including them structure investments. strong market confidence in the world's largest economy, international monetary fund said us gdp is now expected to grow by two-point to percent this year. it's a tenth percentage point in a forecast posted back in july. we had this from the hill related to transportation, democrats are pressing the trump administration to move ahead with the stalled rule that would require opioid testing for certain transportation workers.
currently the transportation department only and mentors a five panel drug test for safety workers which includes marijuana, cocaine, pcp but doesn't include prescription painkillers and opioid misuse which has skyrocketed in the country in recent years. railroad engineers pilots, air traffic controllers and commercial bus and truck drivers are among those who are subject to federal drug and alcohol testing regulate. read more about this on the hill .com. coming up later today a hearing on usaid funding for africa, the 2018th state department budget calls for cuts in usaid funding and policy changes. live coverage starts at 2:00 p.m. eastern online at c-span .org or listen with the free c-span radio app. all this week, booktv has been prime time on c-span too. tonight at 8:00 p.m., a look at the 2016 election with hillary clinton in her book, what happened. donovan allen and amy par other