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2014 artba post election report final

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Special Report: The 2014 Election Results & Federal Transportation Investment/Policy

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2014 artba post election report final

  1. 1. 1     Special  Report:  The  2014  Election  Results  &     Federal  Transportation  Investment/Policy     Overview     As  expected,  Republicans  had  a  big  night  November  4.    As  we  write  this,  the  GOP  has  gained  11   seats  in  the  U.S.  House  of  Representatives—expanding  their  majority  in  that  chamber  to  the  largest   the  party  has  enjoyed  since  World  War  II.         The  big  news,  however,  is  Republicans  wrestling  control  of  the  U.S.  Senate  by  picking  up  at  least   eight  seats  previously  held  by  Democrats.    When  the  next  congressional  session  begins  in  January,   Republicans  will  have  at  least  53  seats  in  the  Senate,  while  Democrats  will  control  46.    The  Senate   race  in  Louisiana  is  heading  for  a  December  6  runoff  as  no  candidate  received  more  than  50  percent   of  the  vote.         While  there  will  be  no  shortage  of  spin  from  both  sides  about  what  the  2014  elections  mean  for   each  party  and  their  prospects  in  the  2016  presidential  election,  ARTBA  is  focused  on  what  the   makeup  of  the  next  Congress  means  for  efforts  to  advance  transportation  legislation  over  the  next   two  years.    House  Republicans  will  continue  to  be  able  to  pass  virtually  any  legislation  they  want— as  they  have  done  since  2010—due  to  the  chamber’s  institutional  rules  that  greatly  advantage  the   majority  party.         The  Senate,  on  the  other  hand,  is  a  more  complicated  environment.    Not  only  do  the  chamber’s   rules  empower  the  minority  to  stop  any  legislation  with  41  votes—a  threshold  Democrats  will   exceed  by  at  least  five  votes—but  Republicans  face  the  same  headwinds  to  control  the  chamber   beyond  2016  as  Democrats  faced  this  year.         Senate  Democrats  had  to  defend  21  seats  in  2014  (seven  of  which  were  in  states  that  Mitt  Romney   won  in  the  2012  presidential  election)  and  Republicans  had  to  defend  15.    Republican  Senate   candidates  won  in  at  least  six  of  the  Romney  states  (Alaska,  North  Carolina,  Arkansas,  South  Dakota,   West  Virginia,  and  Montana)  and  one  Romney  state  (Louisiana)  remains  a  possible  Republican  pick-­‐ ups.    By  contrast,  the  2016  elections  will  require  Republicans  to  defend  24  seats  (seven  of  which  are   in  states  won  by  President  Obama  in  the  2012  presidential  election)  and  only  10  seats  currently   held  by  Democrats  will  be  on  the  ballot.    The  2016  map  does  not  guarantee  Democrats  regain   control  of  the  Senate  in  two  years—just  like  the  2014  map  did  not  guarantee  Republicans  would   win  control  of  the  chamber.         So,  what  does  this  all  mean?    First,  there  is  no  doubt  Republicans  will  control  the  agenda  (what  bills   and  amendments  are  considered,  committee  hearings,  etc.)  on  Capitol  Hill,  but  they  still  do  not   have  enough  votes  to  overcome  objections  by  Senate  Democrats  or  override  any  presidential   vetoes.    Second,  with  control  of  the  Senate  in  play  again  and  a  presidential  election  in  two  years,  it   is  unclear  at  this  point  how  both  sides  are  going  to  balance  the  competing  needs  of  contrasting   themselves  with  the  other  party  and  producing  accomplishments  to  show  they  are  worthy  of  the  
  2. 2. 2     responsibility  to  govern  (Republicans  are  already  under  pressure  from  conservative  activists  not  to   work  with  Democrats).         Last—but  certainly  not  least—divided  government  means  enacting  any  new  laws  will  require   support  from  both  parties.    Of  all  the  major  issues  before  Congress,  few  can  rival  the  broad   bipartisan  support  that  transportation  investment  and  policy  reforms  have  routinely  enjoyed.     Another  key  advantage  for  the  federal  transportation  programs  is  that  unlike  many  other  areas,  the   looming  Highway  Trust  Fund  revenue  shortfall  and  expiration  of  the  federal  highway,  transit  and   aviation  programs  in  2015  will  require  congressional  action  of  some  form.    So  despite  all  the  spin   about  the  “game  changing”  2014  elections,  we  are  looking  at  another  busy  year  on  the   transportation  front.     Senate     As  this  goes  to  press,  Republicans  have  delivered  on  expectations  and  will  control  at  least  53  seats   in  the  U.S.  Senate  during  2015.    Republicans  won  seats  in  eight  states  previously  held  by  Democrats   (Alaska,  Arkansas,  Colorado,  Iowa,  Montana,  North  Carolina,  South  Dakota,  and  West  Virginia),   while  successfully  defending  all  15  Senate  seats  held  by  Republicans.    Senator  Mary  Landrieu  (D-­‐La.)   and  challenger  Bill  Cassidy  are  headed  to  a  December  6  runoff  in  Lousiana.    As  such,  Republicans   have  the  potential  of  picking  up  one  more  Senate  seat  and  further  expanding  their  majority  in  the   chamber.         Due  to  Senate  rules,  the  magic  number  is  60.    Any  senator  has  the  right  to  filibuster  legislation  and   stopping  this  parliamentary  tactic  requires  60  votes.    Over  the  last  several  decades,  this  arcane   procedure  has  evolved  from  a  lone  Senator  talking  a  bill  to  death,  to  a  tool  that  both  parties  wield   to  stop  legislation  with  which  they  disagree.    As  a  result,  any  major  legislation  now  requires  a   supermajority.    In  2015—just  like  2014—the  majority  party  will  be  unable  to  achieve  60  votes   without  support  from  at  least  a  handful  of  minority  party  members.    That  means  Republicans  will   have  the  ability  to  schedule  votes,  but  only  bills  with  bipartisan  support  will  actually  pass  the   chamber.     House     Republicans  have  expanded  their  majority  in  the  House  by  at  least  11  seats  and  will  hold  the  party’s   largest  majority  since  World  War  II.    Republicans  have  controlled  the  House  since  2011  and—unlike   the  Senate—House  rules  greatly  empower  the  majority  party  regardless  of  the  size  of  that  majority.     The  chamber  requires  only  a  simple  majority  to  approve  legislation  and  bestows  on  the  majority   complete  control  of  the  legislative  agenda.         Republicans  maintaining  a  majority  of  the  House  was  widely  expected.    This  is  due,  in  large  part,  to   the  2010  elections  where  not  only  did  Republicans  regain  control  of  the  House,  but  also  captured   many  state  legislatures  and  governorships.    The  election  coincided  with  the  2010  decennial  national   census,  the  results  of  which  were  used  in  2011  to  determine  how  many  House  seats  each  state  gets   and  the  new  congressional  map  drawn  by,  in  most  states,  the  governors  and  state  legislators.     Because  of  the  big  Republican  victory  in  2010,  the  GOP  had  much  more  sway  in  the  redrawing  of   the  congressional  maps  and  in  many  states  drew  favorable  districts  to  help  secure  its  House   majority.    The  next  redrawing  of  House  districts  is  not  slated,  in  most  states,  until  2021,  making  a   Republican  controlled  House  very  likely  until  that  point.        
  3. 3. 3     State  and  Local     With  36  gubernatorial  races  and  87  out  of  99  state  legislative  chambers  holding  elections  this  year,   control  of  governments  at  the  state  level  was  once  again  put  to  voters.    Five  of  the  36  governor’s   mansions  up  for  grabs  flipped  to  another  party  yesterday,  with  two  more  races  still  too  close  to  call.     This  brings  the  new  total  breakdown  to  31  Republican  governors,  17  Democratic  governors,  and   three  states  where  the  outcome  is  still  undecided.    That  compares  to  the  current  breakdown  of  29   Republicans  and  21  Democrats—meaning  a  net  gain  of  at  least  two  governorships  for  the  GOP.         Down  ballot  from  the  gubernatorial  elections,  46  states  held  some  sort  of  state  legislature  elections,   with  only  Louisiana,  Mississippi,  New  Jersey  and  Virginia  not  voting  for  state-­‐level  offices.    Going   into  the  November  4  elections,  Democrats  controlled  21  state  House  and  18  state  Senate  bodies,   while  Republicans  held  majorities  in  28  state  House  and  31  state  Senate  chambers.    Nebraska  has   only  one,  technically  non-­‐partisan,  legislature,  though  the  majority  of  its  members  are  Republicans.     After  the  newly-­‐elected  members  are  sworn  in  later  this  year  and  early  next  year,  Democrats  will   now  hold  majorities  in  16  state  House  and  15  state  Senate  chambers.    Republicans,  in  turn,  will   control  33  House  and  34  Senate  chambers.         Prior  to  the  election,  Democrats  held  the  governorship  and  state  House  and  Senate  in  14  states,   compared  to  23  states  where  all  three  were  led  by  Republicans.    This  is  now  the  case  in  seven  states   for  Democrats  and  23  states  for  Republicans,  leaving  18  states  with  split  party  control  of  their   government.           Balance  of  All  99  State  Legislative  Chambers     Pre-­‐Election   Post-­‐Election   Chamber   Democrat   Republican   Split   Non-­‐Partisan     Democrat   Republican   Split   Non-­‐Partisan   State  Senates   18   31   0   1   15   34   0   1   State  House   21   28   0   0   16   33   0   0   Total:   39   59   0   1   31   67   0   1       What’s  Next  in  Washington?     While  much  of  the  recent  national  political  focus  has  been  on  who  will  be  serving  in  Congress   beginning  in  2015,  members  of  Congress  already  on  the  job  still  have  plenty  of  unfinished  business   to  attend  to  between  now  and  the  end  of  this  year.    Issues  that  still  need  to  be  resolved  include:         • The  “absolutely-­‐must-­‐pass-­‐to-­‐avoid-­‐a-­‐government-­‐shutdown”  FY  2015  appropriations  bills   that  are  currently  operating  under  a  short-­‐term  continuing  resolution  (CR)  set  to  expire   December  11.    These  annual  appropriations  bills  set  funding  for  the  discretionary  part  of  the   federal  government—including  all  programs  administered  by  the  U.S.  Department  of   Transportation.    Given  past  practices  and  the  relatively  short  time  before  the  current   interim  funding  bill  expires,  another  government-­‐wide  catch  all  measure  is  likely  to  be   approved  during  the  post-­‐election  session.    It  remains  to  be  seen,  however,  if  Congress  will   approve  funds  for  the  remainder  of  FY  2015,  or  approve  another  short-­‐term  measure  that   would  require  further  action  next  year  to  keep  federal  programs  operating.    Regardless  of  
  4. 4. 4     the  path  taken,  the  lack  of  a  long-­‐term  surface  transportation  authorization  bill  and  another   Highway  Trust  Fund  revenue  crisis  looming  in  May  2015  make  it  likely  Congress  will  keep   highway  and  transit  funding  locked  in  at  FY  2014  levels.         • Various  national  defense  and  international  issues  have  accelerated  in  recent  months  and   some  members  of  Congress  have  discussed  legislative  action  relating  to  the  use  of  force  in   Iraq  and  Syria  in  response  to  the  actions  of  insurgent  terrorist  groups.    Similarly,  members  of   Congress  have  called  for  action  to  attempt  to  limit  the  spread  of  Ebola  in  the  U.S.    Both  of   these  policy  issues  could  become  part  of  the  must-­‐pass  legislation  to  keep  the  federal   government  operating  into  the  next  year.    Other  issues  that  could  get  addressed  in  the   “lame  duck”  session  are  the  annual  Department  of  Defense  Authorization  bill,  and  a  host  of   possible  trade  agreements.     • Another  likely  area  for  action  between  now  and  the  end  of  the  year  is  the  extension  of  a   series  of  tax  breaks—many  of  which  were  part  of  the  2009  American  Recovery  &   Reinvestment  Act—that  were  originally  meant  to  be  temporary,  but  have  been  extended   annually  since  their  origin.    These  “tax  extenders”  are  now  set  to  expire  December  31.     These  breaks  include  the  ARTBA-­‐supported  bonus  depreciation  and  “Section  179  Expensing”   provisions  that  allow  companies  to  write  off  equipment  purchases  and  capital  expenditures.     • While  the  Highway  Trust  Fund  has  sufficient  revenues  to  continue  operations  through  May   of  2015,  some  members  of  the  House  and  Senate  are  interested  in  advancing  a  long-­‐term   trust  fund  revenue  solution  before  the  end  of  2014.    ARTBA  has  met  with  congressional   leadership  and  tax  committees  over  the  last  two  months  to  urge  action  to  stabilize  the  fund   well  in  advance  of  May  to  avoid  unnecessary  disruptions  in  the  2015  construction  season.     For  example,  the  Tennessee  Department  of  Transportation  announced  October  24  that   nearly  $400  million  in  transportation  investments  were  being  delayed  due  to  uncertainty  at   the  federal  level.    It  remains  to  be  seen,  however,  if  there  will  be  an  opportunity  to  advance   a  Highway  Trust  Fund  stabilization  plan  during  the  lame  duck  session.     Regardless  of  what  happens  in  the  next  two  months,  transportation  issues  will  play  a  major  role  in   the  agenda  for  the  incoming  congressional  session.    Reauthorization  of  the  federal  highway  and   public  transportation  programs  also  faces  a  May  deadline  and  action  on  such  a  measure  will  not  be   possible  until  the  Highway  Trust  Fund  is  on  solid  fiscal  footing.    The  next  Congress  will  also  need  to   reauthorize  the  federal  aviation  programs  by  September  30.    ARTBA  will  be  pushing  for  increased   federal  airport  infrastructure  investment  as  well  as  an  increase  for  the  cap  on  Passenger  Facility   Charges,  ticket  fees  that  airports  collect  to  help  make  capital  improvements  during  that  debate.         The  simple  fact  remains  that  despite  the  outcome  of  the  elections,  federal  transportation   investment  and  policy  reforms  remain  one  of  the  few  issue  areas  capable  of  garnering  broad   support  from  members  of  both  political  parties.    A  point  made  increasingly  clear  by  House  Speaker   John  Boehner  (R-­‐Ohio)  when  he  recently  cited  a  “big  highway  bill”  as  one  of  the  areas  in  which   House  Republicans  and  President  Obama  can  find  common  ground.    The  undeniable  contribution  of   improved  transportation  infrastructure  to  economic  strength  and  quality  of  life  is  not  a  partisan   issue.    ARTBA  will  continue  to  emphasize  the  merits  of  our  arguments  as  we  work  with  members  of   both  parties  to  advance  pro-­‐transportation  policies.     The  following  pages  provide  a  more  detailed  analysis  of  the  2014  elections.    
  5. 5. 5     Summary  of  2014  Election  Results         Democrats   Republicans   Independents   Vacancies   Undecided   Senate  (2014)   53   45   2       Senate  (2015)   44   53   2     1   House  (2014)   199   233     3     House  (2015)   186   244       5   Governor  (2014)   21   29         Governor  (2015)   17   31       2       Newly-­‐Elected  Members  of  Congress  and  Governors     As  of  November  5,  65  new  members  of  the  U.S.  Senate  and  House  of  Representatives  were  elected   along  with  10  new  governors—these  ranks  include  some  former  members  who  are  returning  to   Congress  and  also  some  House  members  who  will  now  serve  in  the  Senate  and  as  governors.     ARTBA  and  its  leadership  will  begin  meeting  with  these  newly-­‐elected  officials  and  their  staff  in   January  to  inform  them  of  the  importance  of  federal  transportation  investment  to  their  state  or   district  as  soon  as  they  begin  their  work  here  in  Washington.    While  some  of  the  congressional  races   are  still  officially  unresolved,  we  can  report  these  new  members  of  Congress  and  governors:     Representatives     Gary  Palmer  (R-­‐Ala.)     James  “French”  Hill  (R-­‐Ark.)     Bruce  Westerman  (R-­‐Ark.)   Ruben  Gallego  (D-­‐Ariz.)   Mark  DeSaulnier  (D-­‐Calif.)     Steve  Knight  (R-­‐Calif.)   Ted  Lieu  (D-­‐Calif.)     Norma  Torres  (D-­‐Calif.)     Mimi  Walters  (R-­‐Calif.)   Ken  Buck  (R-­‐Colo.)     Gwen  Graham  (D-­‐Fla.)       Carlos  Curbello  (R-­‐Ill.)   Earl  Carter  (R-­‐Ga.)     Jody  Hice  (R-­‐Ga.)       Barry  Loudermilk  (R-­‐Ga.)   Richard  Allen  (R-­‐Ga.)     Mark  Takai  (D-­‐Hawaii)       Rodney  Blum  (R-­‐Iowa)   David  Young  (R-­‐Iowa)     Robert  Dold  (R-­‐Ill.)       Michael  Bost  (R-­‐Ill.)   Seth  Moulton  (D-­‐Mass.)   Bruce  Poliquin  (R-­‐Maine)     John  Moolenaar  (R-­‐Mich.)   Michael  Bishop  (R-­‐Mich.)   David  Trott  (R-­‐Mich)       Debbie  Dingell  (D-­‐Mich.)   Brenda  Lawrence  (D-­‐Mich)   Thomas  Emmer  (R-­‐Minn.)     Ryan  Zinke  (R-­‐Mont.)   Bradley  Walker  (R-­‐N.C.)   David  Rouzer  (R-­‐N.C.)       Alma  Adams  (R-­‐N.C.)   Frank  Guinta  (R-­‐N.H.)     Donald  Norcross  (D-­‐N.J.)     Thomas  Macarthur  (R-­‐N.J.)   Bonnie  Coleman  (D-­‐N.J.)   Cresent  Hardy  (R-­‐Nev.)       Lee  Zeldin  (R-­‐N.Y.)   Kathleen  Rice  (D-­‐N.Y.)     Elise  Stefanik  (R-­‐N.Y.)       John  Katko  (R-­‐N.Y.)   Steven  Russell  (R-­‐Okla.)   Ryan  Costello  (R-­‐Pa.)       Brendan  Boyle  (D-­‐Pa.)   John  Ratcliffe  (R-­‐Texas)   Will  Hurd  (R-­‐Texas)       Brian  Babin  (R-­‐Texas)   Mia  Love  (R-­‐Utah)     David  Brat  (R-­‐Va.)       Don  Beyer  (D-­‐Va.)   Barbara  Comstock  (R-­‐Va.)   Glenn  Grothman  (R-­‐Wisc.)     Alexander  Mooney  (R-­‐W.Va.)           Even  Jenkins  (R-­‐W.Va.)      
  6. 6. 6     Senators     Tom  Cotton  (R-­‐Ark.)     Cory  Gardner  (R-­‐Colo.)       David  Perdue  (R-­‐Ga.)                   Joni  Ernst  (R-­‐Iowa)     Gary  Peters  (D-­‐Mich.)       Ben  Sasse  (R-­‐Neb.)   Thom  Tillis  (R-­‐N.C.)     James  Lankford  (R-­‐Okla.)     Mike  Rounds  (R-­‐S.D.)   Dan  Sullivan  (R-­‐Alaska)       Shelley  Moore  Capito  (R-­‐W.Va.)         Governors     Asa  Hutchinson  (R-­‐Ark.)   Doug  Ducey  (R-­‐Ariz.)       David  Inge  (D-­‐Hawaii)   Bruce  Rauner  (R-­‐Ill.)     Charlie  Baker  (R-­‐Mass.)     Larry  Hogan  (R-­‐Md.)   Pete  Ricketts  (R-­‐Neb.)     Tom  Wolf  (D-­‐Pa.)       Gina  Raimondo  (D-­‐R.I.)           Gregg  Abbott  (R-­‐Texas)                       It  is  never  too  early  to  begin  educating  new  members  of  Congress  and  governors  about  the   importance  of  transportation  investment  in  their  state.     2014  Elections  and  the  Relevant  House  and  Senate  Committees     Although  Republicans  will  gain  control  of  both  the  House  and  Senate  in  January,  the  leadership  in   both  chambers  will  likely  remain  the  same.    In  the  House,  John  Boehner  is  expected  to  retain  the   Speaker’s  gavel.    Majority  Leader  Kevin  McCarthy  (R-­‐Calif.)  and  Majority  Whip  Steve  Scalise  (R-­‐La.)   will  likely  remain  in  their  leadership  positions.    McCarthy  ascended  to  his  position  in  July  after   former  Majority  Leader  Eric  Cantor  (R-­‐Va.)  lost  his  primary  election  June  10.    Scalise  was  then   elected  by  his  GOP  colleagues  to  take  McCarthy’s  place  as  the  party’s  chief  vote  counter.    On  the   Democratic  side,  all  indications  are  that  leadership  ranks  will  remain  the  same,  with  current   Minority  Leader  Nancy  Pelosi  (D-­‐Calif.),  Minority  Whip  Steny  Hoyer  (D-­‐Md.)  and  Democratic  Caucus   Assistant  Leader  James  Clyburn  (D-­‐S.C.)  maintaining  the  top  three  positions  for  their  party  in  the   House.       While  the  Republican  majority  in  the  Senate  will  certainly  affect  the  policy  direction  of  the  chamber,   the  leadership  personnel  for  each  party  is  likely  to  remain  the  same,  just  in  opposite  rolls.    Current   Minority  Leader  Mitch  McConnell  (R-­‐Ky.)  is  widely  expected  to  ascend  to  the  Majority  Leader  spot   in  2015,  and  Minority  Whip  John  Cornyn  (R-­‐Texas)  will  likely  become  the  next  Majority  Whip  after   party  leadership  elections  are  held  in  November.    On  the  Democratic  side,  current  Majority  Leader   Harry  Reid  (D-­‐Nev.)  should  maintain  his  leadership  role  as  the  next  Minority  Leader,  current   Assistant  Majority  Leader  Dick  Durbin  (D-­‐Ill.)  will  likely  become  the  next  Minority  Whip  and  Policy   Committee  Chair  Chuck  Schumer  (D-­‐N.Y.)  will  stay  on  as  the  number  three  Democrat  in  the  Senate.         ARTBA  will  provide  an  update  on  House  and  Senate  leadership  decisions  as  they  are  made  by  each   party  in  the  coming  weeks.       Transportation  &  Infrastructure  (T&I)  Committee       Current  T&I  Committee  Chairman  Bill  Shuster  (R-­‐Pa.)  will  retain  the  gavel  of  the  committee   that  oversees  all  transportation  related  policy  issues  and  is  charged  with  producing  the  next  
  7. 7. 7     surface  transportation  and  aviation  program  reauthorization  bills.    2015  will  be  Shuster’s   third  year  as  chairman,  after  helping  lead  the  way  for  enactment  of  the  Water  Resources   and  Reform  Development  Act  of  2014  (WRRDA).    There  will  be  a  change  at  the  helm  of  the   Highways  &  Transit  Subcommittee,  as  current  chairman  and  long-­‐time  transportation   advocate  Tom  Petri  (R-­‐Wis.)  will  retire  at  the  end  of  this  year.    This  opens  the  door  for   numerous  members  of  the  committee  to  seek  the  chairmanship  of  the  subcommittee  that   will  help  write  the  successor  to  MAP-­‐21.    ARTBA  will  provide  updates  as  this  process  unfolds   over  the  next  few  months.     On  the  Democrat  side  of  the  committee,  Representative  Nick  Rahall  (D-­‐W.Va.)  lost  a  hotly   contested  bid  for  re-­‐election.    Rahall  has  championed  strong  federal  transportation  policy  and   increased  investment  throughout  his  38  years  in  Congress.    With  his  departure,  committee   Democrats  will  very  likely  be  led  by  current  Natural  Resources  Committee  Ranking  Members  Peter   DeFazio  (D-­‐Ore.).    DeFazio  has  held  various  subcommittee  leadership  positions  in  both  the  majority   and  minority  on  the  T&I  Committee  and  is  expected  to  continue  as  a  strong  leader  on  both  policy   and  investment  issues.    Eleanor  Holmes  Norton  (D-­‐D.C.)  is  expected  to  continue  to  be  the  lead   Democrat  on  the  Highways  &Transit  Subcommittee  in  2015.         Including  retirements,  defeats  and  those  who  ran  for  other  office,  of  the  60  current  members  of  the   committee  nine  will  not  be  a  part  of  the  next  House  of  Representatives.    Those  members  are:     Tom  Petri  (R-­‐Wis.)           Nick  Rahall  (D-­‐W.Va.)   Howard  Coble  (R-­‐N.C.)             Tim  Bishop  (D-­‐N.Y.)   Gary  Miller  (R-­‐Calif.)             Mike  Michaud  (D-­‐Maine)   Shelley  Moore  Capito  (R-­‐W.Va.)   Steve  Southerland  (R-­‐Fla.)   Steve  Daines  (R-­‐Mont.)       House  Appropriations  Committee     The  House  Appropriations  Committee,  which  sets  annual  funding  levels  for  all  federal  discretionary   programs,  will  continue  to  be  led  by  Chairman  Hal  Rogers  (R-­‐Ky.)  on  the  GOP  side  and  Ranking   Member  Nita  Lowey  (D-­‐N.Y.)  on  the  Democratic  side.    Changes  at  the  Transportation,  Housing  and   Urban  Development  (THUD)  subcommittee  will  be  significant,  as  both  current  Chairman  Tom   Latham  (R-­‐Iowa)  and  current  Ranking  Member  Ed  Pastor  (D-­‐Ariz.)  are  both  retiring  at  the  end  of   2014.    We  will  provide  more  information  about  the  successors  to  Latham  and  Pastor  as  the  shuffling   of  the  deck  chairs  on  this  panel  gets  underway.     House  Ways  &  Means  Committee     The  House  Ways  &  Means  Committee  has  jurisdiction  over  all  tax  policy,  including  all  transportation   related  taxes  and  trust  funds.    Current  Committee  Chairman  Dave  Camp  (R-­‐Mich.)  is  retiring  at  the   end  of  the  year.    Current  House  Budget  Committee  Chairman  and  2012  Republican  nominee  for   Vice  President  Paul  Ryan  (R-­‐Wis.)  is  expected  to  take  the  helm  of  the  committee  beginning  in  2015.     Congressman  Kevin  Brady  (R-­‐Texas),  who  is  more  senior  on  the  committee  than  Ryan,  has  
  8. 8. 8     announced  he  will  also  seek  the  chairmanship,  but  he  is  facing  an  uphill  climb.    Ryan  has  a  mixed   record  on  federal  transportation  and  infrastructure  investment  issues.    As  chairman  of  the  Budget   Committee,  Ryan  has  continually  put  forth  budgets  that  would  align  highway  and  transit  spending   with  revenues  coming  into  the  Highway  Trust  Fund,  which  since  2008  would  have  resulted  in   devastating  cuts  to  the  programs.    However,  recent  budgets  have  been  accompanied  by  statements   explaining  these  proposals  reflect  what  the  trust  fund  could  support  at  current  revenue  levels,  and   included  “reserve  clauses”  that  would  allow  adjustment  of  the  budget  accordingly  if  additional  trust   fund  revenues  were  generated.    He  also  voted  for  MAP-­‐21  and  the  most  recent  MAP-­‐21  extension   and  short-­‐term  Highway  Trust  Fund  fix.     Current  Ranking  Democrat  Sander  Levin  (D-­‐Mich.)  is  expected  to  maintain  his  position  as  his  party’s   leader  on  the  committee.     House  Budget  Committee     With  current  Budget  Committee  Chairman  Paul  Ryan  looking  to  take  over  the  Ways  &  Means   Committee  at  the  beginning  of  2015,  that  leaves  a  vacancy  at  the  top  of  his  current  committee  for   Republicans.    Committee  Vice-­‐Chairman  Tom  Price  (R-­‐Ga.),  a  former  member  of  leadership  in  the   GOP,  seems  like  the  front-­‐runner  but  he  could  receive  a  challenge  from  numerous  members  for  the   gavel.    Chris  Van  Hollen  (D-­‐Md.)  is  the  current  Ranking  Member  for  the  Democrats  and  will  likely   maintain  that  position  in  the  114th  Congress.         Senate  Environment  &  Public  Works  (EPW)  Committee   As  a  result  of  the  new  Republican  Senate  Majority,  Senator  Jim  Inhofe  (R-­‐Okla.)  will  become   chairman  of  the  Senate  EPW  Committee  in  2015—the  committee  has  jurisdiction  over  the  federal   highway  program.    Inhofe  chaired  the  committee  during  the  2005  surface  transportation  bill  and   was  the  panel’s  lead  Republican  during  the  2012  surface  transportation  program  reauthorization   process.    Inhofe  is  widely  considered  one  of  the  Senate’s  most  conservative  members,  but  routinely   points  to  infrastructure  and  defense  as  two  of  the  primary  functions  of  the  federal   government.    Current  EPW  Chairman  Barbara  Boxer  (D-­‐Calif.)  is  expected  to  continue  as  the  lead   Democrat  on  the  panel  next  year.       As  Inhofe  will  be  displacing  Senator  David  Vitter  (R-­‐La.)—who  is  also  running  for  Louisiana  governor   in  2015—as  the  top  EPW  Republican,  it  is  unclear  if  Vitter  will  take  over  the  chairmanship  of  one  of   the  EPW  subcommittees.    Senator  Tom  Carper  (D-­‐Del.)  is  the  current  chairman  of  the  EPW   Transportation  &  Infrastructure  Subcommittee  and  John  Barrasso  (R-­‐Wyo.)  is  the  subcommittee’s   ranking  Republican.    If  Vitter  does  not  displace  Barrasso  and  Barrasso  remains  on  the  EPW  panel,   Barrasso  would  be  expected  to  chair  the  subcommittee  in  2015  and  Carper  would  be  it  ranking   Democrat.   Senate  Appropriations  Committee   The  leaders  of  the  Senate  Appropriations  Committee  and  the  panel’s  THUD  Subcommittee  will  all   return  in  2015.    While  current  Committee  Chairman  Barbara  Mikulski  (D-­‐Md.)  will  become  the   Ranking  Democrat,  former  Ranking  Republican  Thad  Cochran  (R-­‐Miss.)  is  now  in  line  to  chair  the  full  
  9. 9. 9     committee.    This  means  current  Ranking  Republican  Richard  Shelby  (R-­‐Ala.)  will  likely  get  demoted   from  the  lead  role  on  the  panel.    Shelby,  however,  is  expected  to  chair  another  full  committee  (see   Banking  Committee  below)  and  his  choice  of  the  subcommittees  on  appropriations.    With  some   senior  members  of  the  committee  leaving  Congress  at  the  end  of  this  year  and  the  typical  post-­‐ election  committee  shake-­‐up,  there  will  be  new  faces  at  the  leadership  of  the  various   appropriations  subcommittees.    As  a  result,  it  remains  to  be  seen  if  current  THUD  Subcommittee   Ranking  Member  Susan  Collins  (R-­‐Maine)  will  become  the  panel’s  next  chairman  and  if  Senator   Patty  Murray  (D-­‐Wash.)  will  continue  to  be  the  top  Democrat  on  the  subcommittee.       Senate  Finance  Committee     Senate  Finance  Committee  Ranking  Republican  Orrin  Hatch  (R-­‐Utah)  will  become  chairman  of  the   Senate  tax-­‐writing  panel  in  2015.    Finance  Committee  Chairman  Ron  Wyden  (D-­‐Ore.)  will  be  the   panel’s  ranking  member  when  the  new  Congress  convenes  in  January.    Hatch  and  Wyden  worked   cooperatively  to  develop  the  latest  Highway  Trust  Fund  patch  in  July,  and  Hatch  has  routinely  called   for  a  long-­‐term  trust  fund  solution.    Hatch  has  also,  however,  suggested  that  spending  cuts  should   also  be  considered  as  part  of  any  trust  fund  stabilization  effort.   Senate  Banking  Committee   If  current  Appropriations  Committee  Ranking  Republican  Richard  Shelby  is  bumped  from  his  perch   atop  the  powerful  spending  committee  by  Senator  Cochran,  he  will  likely  take  the  chairmanship  of   the  Banking  Committee.    The  panel  oversees  transit  policy  and  a  host  of  financial  issues  in  the   Senate.    On  the  Democratic  side,  current  Chairman  Tim  Johnson  (D-­‐S.D.)  is  retiring,  opening  the   door  for  a  new  Democrat  to  lead  the  committee.    While  Senator  Schumer  is  next  in  line,  his  role  in   the  Democratic  leadership  may  lead  him  to  step  aside,  allowing  for  a  more  junior  member  to  lead   the  Democrats  on  the  committee.         Senate  Commerce  Committee   Current  Ranking  Republican  John  Thune  is  slotted  to  take  the  gavel  of  the  committee  which  will  be   charged  with  contributing  safety  provisions  of  the  next  surface  transportation  bill,  along  with   reauthorizing  federal  aviation  law  in  2015.    With  current  Chairman  Jay  Rockefeller  (D-­‐W.Va.)   retiring,  Senator  Bill  Nelson  (D-­‐Fla.)  is  in  line  to  be  the  panel’s  lead  Democrat.     Senate  Budget  Committee     Current  Budget  Committee  Chairman  Patty  Murray  and  Ranking  Republican  Jeff  Sessions  (R-­‐Ala.)   will  likely  swap  roles  on  the  committee  starting  in  January.         Polls  Close,  Hard  Work  Remains   Federal  investment  constitutes  on  average  more  than  half  of  all  U.S.  highway  and  bridge  capital   improvements.    The  individuals  elected  November  4  will  be  making  decisions  that  directly  impact   the  transportation  construction  industry  marketplace  for  years  to  come.    MAP-­‐21  is  already  on  its   first  extension  and  needs  to  be  reauthorized  by  May  31,  along  with  adequate  revenues  for  the   Highway  Trust  Fund  to  pay  for  any  new  legislation.    A  few  months  later,  the  federal  aviation  
  10. 10. 10     program  reauthorization  comes  due,  with  Congress  left  to  deciding  funding  levels  for  capital   investments  at  our  nation’s  airports.       We  cannot  wait  to  begin  educating  members  of  Congress,  particularly  those  that  are  newly  elected,   about  the  need  to  find  a  long-­‐term  Highway  Trust  Fund  revenue  solution  to  preserve  and  grow   federal  surface  transportation  investment.    With  the  elections  completed,  now  is  a  perfect  time  to   reach  out  to  your  current  Representatives  and  Senators  to  engage  them  about  the  value  of   transportation  improvements  in  your  community  and  the  need  for  action  to  stabilize  the  Highway   Trust  Fund  NOW!       Please  contact  ARTBA’s  Vice  President  of  Congressional  Relations  Dean  Franks  at  dfranks@artba.org   or  202-­‐289-­‐4434,  for  assistance  in  reaching  out  to  your  members  of  Congress.   ###      

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