House will serve as Conference on Multi-Year Authorization Bill

20-Apr-2012 The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reported that the House of Representatives will move to a conference committee with the Senate on a multi-year surface transportation authorization measure, since the 90-day extension of SAFETEA-LU (H.R. 4348) through September 30, 2012 was passed.

The bill brought to the House floor yesterday also includes provisions approving the permit of the Keystone XL pipeline and a modified version of the Senate’s RESTORE Act (directing BP oil spill penalties to projects in the Gulf states). Three amendments were made in order by the House Rules Committee including one to incorporate the project and environmental streamlining provisions originally included in H.R. 7, the bill the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee reported out back in February.

Amendments to guarantee spending of Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund receipts as well as legislation shifting enforcement responsibilities for Federal coal ash rules to the states were also considered. All three amendments considered were approved by the House and included in the final bill.

The amendment adding H.R. 7’s streamlining project provisions was made in order after some Republicans expressed concern that House conferees would be left in a weak negotiating position if they went to a conference committee with “shell” legislation that lacked any of the substantive policy provisions included in the House committee-passed bill. House Democrats had sought to consider an amendment on the House floor substituting the text of Senate-passed MAP-21 for the House bill, but that effort was not allowed under the Rule.

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