Transportation for America Partners
With Congress winding down, we wanted to make sure you were aware of some important end of the year Hill activity on transportation. Check out what's been going on and what we we're expecting early next year.
Lame Duck Session Action:
- Earlier this month we were excited to see the National Debt Commission take up the issue of a gas tax increase that was tied to a reformed transportation bill. Although the recommendations of the Debt Commission’s leadership weren’t passed on to Congress with the necessary 14 of 18 votes, we were glad to see the call for reform in transportation spending, and consideration for the need for more investment in transportation.
- As part of the larger tax bill last week, Congress passed an extension of the expiring tax benefit for transit users through 2011, keeping it at the current $230 a month — and keeping it equal with the $230 parking benefit. Without the extension, the benefit would have dropped down to $120 a month causing financial hardship for many transit riders. Join us in saying thank you to Congress for this essential support of public transit and equity for all commuters.
- This week Congress passed the omnibus spending bill which provides funding for multiple federal departments and agencies through March 4th, 2011. Included in the package is an extension of the federal authorization bill SAFETEA-LU, which similarly goes through March 4th.
Preparing for the 112th Congress:
- Each new congressional session is like a reset button. Any piece of legislation that didn't pass the 111th congress must be reintroduced in the 112th Congress if we want to see it voted upon. For T4 this means working with partners and Hill allies to figure out strategies for reintroducing our top policy priorities, including seeking additional bipartisan support.
Thanks for all your tremendous work this year - it's through our many state, local and national partnerships that we continue to make progress on reform of our transportation systems and to strengthen our communities. Enjoy the holidays and we look forward to working with you in the new year!