Jun 12, 2016
Transportation: We all need it, and Congress funded it. In this episode, we take a detailed look into the FAST Act, which funds our national transportation network for the next five years.
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Highways will get an average of 41 billion per year.
Private Freight Grants: $500 million can go to private rail freight companies to upgrade rail infrastructure; the Federal share of these projects is capped at 60%.
Acceleration of Projects
The Department of Transportation will identify national corridors for installation of electric car charging stations and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas refueling stations by the end of 2016.
Allows the Department of Transportation to move swallows from under bridges that need fixing until the Interior Department issues final rules.
Provides grants to States in return for their establishment of laws that prohibit texting and driving.
Prohibits Federal grant money from funding for State & local programs for checking for motorcycle helmet usage or checkpoints for motorcycle monitoring.
Provides grants to States for implementation of drunk driving laws.
Orders a study and report to Congress on marijuana-impaired driving by the end of 2016.
Drug Test Expansion
Highway User Fees
Public Access to Research
Transportation of flammable liquids by rail
Within a year, the Secretary of Transportation has to create regulations to require railroads to report accurate, real-time information about hazardous liquids being transported to the local fusion centers, who will share the information with State and local first responders.
Tank cars that do not meet Federal standards can still be used to transport oil and ethanol until 2018 or May 2025, depending on the type of tank car.
The Secretary of Transportation will have 180 days to create regulations to make sure that tank cars modified to meet Federal standards be equipped with insulating blankets that have been approved by the Secretary.
Food and Beverage Reform
Pets on Trains
Gulf Coast Rail
Privatizing long distance routes
Cameras on Trains
Rental Car Safety
Motor Safety Violation Penalties
The Secretary of Transportation will create regulations for tire fuel efficiency minimum performance standards, taking steps to ensure that wet traction functionality is not effected.
Creates a publicly searchable electronic database for tire recall information
Passport Denials for Tax Delinquencies
Privatize Tax Collection
Federal Reserve Funds
Limits the amount of money that can be held by the Federal Reserve banks to $10 billion and transfers the remainder to the general fund of the Treasury.
Adjusts dividends for Federal Reserve stockholders to the lower of the rate of the 10 year Treasury notes or 6 percent
Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Crop Insurance Profits
Oil & Gas Royalties
Reauthorizes the Export-Import bank until September 30, 2019 and reduces the amount of loans, guarantees, and insurance the Export-Import bank can have outstanding to $135 billion (from $140 billion).
Requires the Export-Import bank to hold 5% of it's funds in reserve to protect against losses.
Requires independent audits of the Export-Import bank's portfolio
Creates a pilot program that allows the Export-Import Bank to enter into contracts to "share risks".
Environmental Law Waivers
Strategic Transformer Reserve
Hearing: House Rules Committee Meeting on Highway Bill Amendments-Part 1, November 3, 2015.
Hearing: House Rules Committee Meeting on Highway Bill Amendments, Part 2, November 3, 2015.
Hearing: Federal Railroad Administration Confirmation Hearing, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, September 17, 2015
Hearing: Positive Train Control, House Transportation Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, June 24, 2015.
Hearing: Amtrak Derailment, House Transportation and Infrastructer Committee, June 2, 2015.
Congressional Dish Episode 99: April Takes a Turn By Jennifer Briney, June 27, 2015
Congressional Dish Episode 73: Amtrak, By Jennifer Briney, June 24, 2014
Congressional Dish Episode 62: The Farm Bill By Jennifer Briney, February 8, 2014.
Federal Public Transportation Program: In Brief By William J. Mallett, December 28, 2015.
Congressional Budget Office: H.R. 22, the FAST Act, December 2, 2015.
Article: Rental companies now have to repair recalled cars By Chris Isidore, CNN Money, June 1, 2016.
Article: NTSB: Philly Amtrak crash engineer’s fault By Bill Cummings, CtPost, May 17, 2016.
Article: With RAISE Act, Congress Paves Way For Private Secondary Markets By Shriram Bhashyam, TechCrunch, December 20, 2015.
Article: Highway Bill Restores Crop Insurance Funding Cut in Budget Deal, Insurance Journal, December 4, 2015.
Article: Fewer Taxpayer Giveaways Would Cut The Fat, Not ‘Cripple’ Crop Insurance By Shannon Van Hoesen, Environmental Working Group, December 3, 2015.
Article: FAST Act (H.R. 22): Surface Transportation Conference Report Released By Robert S. Kirk, December 2, 2015.
Article: $305B highway bill taps Fed, oil reserves By Keith Lang, The Hill, December 1, 2015.
Article: Congress votes to delay rail safety mandate by 3 to 5 years, fund transportation programs By Joan Lowy, U.S. News and World Report, October 28, 2015.
Article: Ag Committee Leaders Stand United Against Reopening Farm Bill to New Crop Insurance Cuts By Meghan Cline, United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, October 27, 2015.
Article: 'Devastating' crop insurance cut sends lawmakers scrambling By Philip Brasher, Agri-Pulse, October 27, 2015.
Article: Rail-safety deadline extension hitched to must-pass bill on transit funding By Ashley Halsey III and Michael Laris, The Washington Post, October 27, 2015.
Article: Deadline for train safety technology undercut by industry lobbying By Ashley Halsey III and Michael Laris, The Washington Post, October 25, 2015.
Article: Stop pretending you know what the Export-Import Bank is By Simone Pathe, PBS, September 15, 2014.
Article: REUTERS SUMMIT-U.S. Ex-Im bank would back Airbus sales -Hochberg By Alwyn Scott and Tim Hepher, Reuters, September 10, 2014.
Article: CARGO TANK TRUCKS: Improved Incident Data and Regulatory Analysis Would Better Inform Decisions about Safety Risks By Susan A. Fleming, U.S. Government Accountability Office, September 11, 2013.
Article: How the cult of shareholder value wrecked American business By Steven Pearlstein, The Washington Post, September 9, 2013.
Article: NTTC Asks LaHood to Halt Rulemaking On Wetlines Procedures, Tanker Design By Timothy Cama, Transport Topics, October 10, 2011.
Article: Hazardous Materials: Safety Requirements for External Product Piping on Cargo Tanks Transporting Flammable Liquids By Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, January 27, 2011.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Budget-in-Brief Fiscal Year 2016
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Budget Estimates, Fiscal Year 2016
Metra Website: Positive Train Control
Joint Explanatory Statement explaining the FAST Act
OpenSecrets: Profile of National Tank Truck Carriers Inc
OpenSecrets: Top Contributors to Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Bill Shuster
OpenSecrets: Top Contributing Industries for Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Bill Shuster
OpenSecrets: Career Profile for Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio's 15th district
Website: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Website: Risk Management Agency/U.S. Department of Agriculture: Crop Insurance Providers List for 2016
Website: United States Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics: Transportation Fatalities by Mode
YouTube: 9/11 hijackers at Dulles Airport, October 3, 2008.
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