Congressman John L. Mica's Update as the 111th Congress begins
As Congress embarks on its 111th session, I want to keep you posted on some of my activities and some of the current challenges we are attempting to address in Washington.
It was my honor to be elected for another two year term as the Republican Leader of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. For more information on my work as Republican Leader, visit our House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee website at http://republicans.transportation.house.gov.
With a significant portion of the proposed economic stimulus package directed to job creation through infrastructure projects, our efforts continue to keep the measure from being a spending free-for-all. Currently transportation and infrastructure funding will be primarily limited to projects that can be “shovel ready” or under construction within 120 days.
Florida has submitted $6.9 billion in projects that fall into that category. However, only about $90 billion of the proposed $825 billion economic stimulus package is devoted to infrastructure. The transportation and infrastructure portion of the House stimulus proposal includes $30 billion for highway construction; $31 billion for federal and other public infrastructure; $19 billion for clean water, flood control and environmental restoration investments; and $10 billion for mass transit and rail.
It is estimated that every billion dollars in infrastructure spending creates between 28,000 and 30,000 jobs. Approximately 2.7 million jobs could be created with about one-tenth of the proposed package. Having been disappointed with both bailout measures, I believe my vote in opposition was appropriate. My efforts in the coming months will be aimed at putting people back to work concurrent with the economic recovery package and further stimulating private sector job creation.
I have also been working with key members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to set the groundwork for consideration of our next transportation and highway six year authorization bill. With the current law setting policy, projects and funding formulas expiring September 30, 2009, our plan is to pass a House bill by late May or early June.
Additionally, I was pleased to name two new Republican Leaders to vacant Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee leadership positions. Representative Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey will lead the U.S. Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida will head the Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee.
With a new Congress, a new Administration and significant challenges, I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get things moving. Please know as we begin this new year and Congressional session, I welcome hearing from you.
With my regards and best wishes, I remain
Congressman John L. Mica