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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 26, 2009 7:00am-7:30am EDT

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agency and other agencies, the department of transportation operates, which would be dramatically changed and streamlined, we can go from 14 years to 3. i don't think you have the administered of the way to do that. we have not okayed -- >> let me speak to that. [talking over each other] >> when you look at what we have looked at, we are familiar with it. there is a remarkable confluence on policy issues. it includes a livability component. includes the metropolitan mobility initiative which you also have.
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it has an issue related to cost-benefit analysis but that proposal for cost-benefit analysis is not a mirror of the new process. no one in this administration is content with how things are going. if we brought that process as it was done in molested ministration for highway projects, nothing would get built. no one is proposing to do that. what the president is proposing is to bring together a program where we can stand up the ability for embryos and states to choose better project. that is not necessarily brought to bear. >> if i could interrupt, we have already said, we are proposing major reforms in how process goes forward, how project are selected, new criteria meets the concerns of the president, greenhouse gas reductions and a host of things, do you want those policy changes? since we seem to be so close together in terms of the policy
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and streamlining and changes we want to make and we are in agreement on those, the only difference seems to be whether it is 18 months or 6 years. i understand the aversion to longer-term, they don't want to approach the revenue issue. i gave it to the chief of staff this morning, i am proposing it to ways and means, we heard we have run up fuel costs 50% because of speculator. pretty simple. we take larry summers's proposal from 1989 about taxing these transactions, we apply 0.2% to every speculative trade, we raise $40 billion a year paying for the bill. if we are in agreement on the policies and we can find a way to do that without taxing consumers, that agrees to
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longer-term construction. i know you can't answer that. >> the administration is focused on getting this passed bankruptcy in august. [talking over each other] >> with reforms. we see a lot of confluence between your subcommittee product and our principles for this extension. but there's another committee we haven't heard from, ways and means, how the $500 million bill will get paid for. during this economic times -- >> 450 is trust funded, general fund in transit. because of the way scoring is, we need to raise $140 billion. i have a way we can easily raise $240 so the president has 50 leftov leftover. that is subject to appropriation. 50 leftover for healthcare or
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something else. i have exceeded my time. are there any other republicans? >> i have not. >> mr. rogoff, what is the administration's plant after the 18 month extension? >> the administration is looking at reauthorization in a 2 phase process, and the extension with reforms is the first phase. that is one of the things that has been lost in the dialogue. the administration is not asking for the authorization process to come to a close. as far as we are concerned, work on a long-term reauthorization should continue with a dialogue with the administration, house and senate and we should have a meaningful conversation about what we should be standing up in the next 18 months to do longer-term extension and come
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to agreement on finances, we can have a financing mechanism. the economy being where it is, the administration is not talking about new revenue at this time. that is why the president's but it has an increase for highways, more from the general funds. in addition to a metropolitan agency in the 18 month extension which is a concept captured in this committee's bill. that bears resemblance to some of the things in this bill. the $20 billion needed to bailout not just a highway account but the mass transit account is going to be responsibly paid for. that is the administration's proposal while we work together on a longer-term bill and the revenue sources to they for it.
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>> the recovery act requires states to projects that are located in economically distressed areas. is there a system you have implemented in order to make sure that is the case, giving priorities that are distressed, or the state legislators allocating funds for political purposes. >> that is a provision within the highway funds. it is one of several factors that need to be considered in selected projects. we have to have projects that are ready to go, moving through the environmental process and are ready to move to construction. what we're seeking is to have as many of those projects as possible located in economically
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distressed areas. we have developed a mechanism by which we can look with in any given state, where the economically distressed areas, and overlay the projects. the administrators are looking at this process. as well as the outcome from that process which is how much money is going to economically distressed areas. we have seen in a number of states, i referred to michigan, 77% of the funding that has been obligated to date in michigan is used in economically distressed areas. we are seeing similar figures in mississippi and idaho. it is giving us some sense that the provisions are being adhered to and we are seeing money flow to economically distressed areas as part of the economic recovery
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funding. >> does your agency had any kind of mechanism to make sure the money obligated to use in order to actually put it to good use rather than abdicating the money that has it sit there? movement -- >> we are seeing the project move very quickly from obligation to advertisements to underway. we are looking at 5,000 projects that have been approved, 1500 of those projects. we are seeing projects move very quickly through the pipeline. the dots are committed to that, as are the local governments. we are not going to see a lot of money. we are seeing projects move very
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quickly. >> the transportation outlays on this map provide certain money allocated to each state. are the numbers set in stone or is there room for you to move funds from one state to another? >> on the highway side, they're obligated by formula so there is no discretion. there is no discretion in the law. it is being worked in a manner where they are represented. in establishing the criteria to participate in reviewing the proposals that come in.
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that is the program that is very flexible, and will be able to be used in a variety of ways. >> if funds are not used, which is to say they're not obligated, the same is true in highways, if they're not utilize or obligated by the deadlines, they are reallocated to players that are prepared to use the money. we are not locked in to the distribution list you are seeing on your map. if funds are freed up, they will be moved. >> i am sorry, i am getting confused. is she next? >> i do things in the order in which people arrived. touchdown know if the staff ki
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track. miss richardson? >> i had an opportunity to go to 3 events with allocation of these recovery dollars being distributed and it is happening at los angeles international airport, recently with secretary napolita napolitano. i have seen great progress and i commend you. mr. paniati, i want to talk about what mr. chao was just asking you. you said through the efficient implementation of the recovery projects, fhwa has the key role in protecting families from foreclosure. it has energized working people of all sizes and is the lifeline for americans who worked in construction and been hard hit by the recession.
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on page 4, every new project, there is a signal for states to advertise contracts and for contractors to begin hiring workers and ordering asphalt and concrete. i have read all of your presentations and it was a little light on providing information in that area. do you have any information on new contracts, what new people were hired? that was part of the focus of the recovery, not just to the companies that have major contracts, people on overtime, it was to give new people an opportunity to come in? >> all the money is being used on new projects. >> that is not what i asked you. my question is not about new projects, but the projects which i understand were said, are new contractors coming in? are new people getting jobs?
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>> i don't have data on that. a significant effort for us is to work with the state government to ensure that companies of all size and all varieties benefit from the recovery. there are provisions in the law. we have been very aggressive from the beginning in reaching out to state dots to provide guidance, education on those provisions, to ensure the goals that exists are the same goals that exist under the federal aid program, states have been very aggressive in our region and workshop sessions with the contacting community to bring in a broad range of contractors. >> i have 2 minutes. do you have specific results of what has happened? do you have the numbers?
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>> i do not have numbers on contracts. >> what you are -- what have been the results? are more new people working and so on? the questions i already asked. further building upon the economically distressed areas on page 5, you have a tool to use geographic information, mapping technology to identify information on a per-capita unemployment rate at the county level. can you supply that information to the committee? that would include the percentage of all the areas of how that mapping is going? those would be, the tracking prospective, if you could provide the tracking report as
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well. >> ms. edwards? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to follow up on this question because this has been a huge concern in the state of maryland. we managed to get a lot of projects in the pipeline but the question is whether the jobs that are created and the distribution of those contracts around our state really reflects where the need is for the jobs. even though our state enjoys us, 7.2% unemployment, we are grateful for that. there are pockets of our state, particularly the district i represent just outside the district of columbia that have higher pockets of unemployment where we have minority and other contractors who i don't believe have fully enjoyed the benefit
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of the recovery funds that have come into our state. i would love to hear from the administration, the department of transportation directly, you can go in whatever order you want. who has gotten those contracts, where do people come from? does that represent where the biggest pockets of unemployment are, in our various states? i am speaking from a state that has relatively low unemployment by comparison? >> in the federal transit instance, formula dollars are not just formula dollars, they're sent to urban areas and rural areas but they are targeted to where the people are. they are not necessarily targeted to where unemployment is but you raise another issue
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we take seriously and that is the outreach to disadvantaged businesses. i can assure you the requirements and challenges up 5 to every dollar that has gone to the recovery in my agency and the other modes as well. we had 8 out reach sessions. we have put a great deal of information to reach out to apply and we will get an update shortly. we get those updates every 6 months as it relates to participation in the program. >> i appreciate the out reach but our businesses would appreciate a contract. this is particularly true for the state. mr. paniati, maybe you could speak to this. >> we left you alone for a while but now you are it.
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you mentioned amtrak expects to award $190 million for the project. wonder if you are aware, a lot of members have been talking about some projects in their districts. passenger rail and west to i was city, my understanding is this would create a hundred jobs at the cost of $23.2 million, estimated 170,000 riders on that project. we have worked very hard on this. both governors endorsed the project. do you know much about this? is this something you could help us with, something you have already taken a look at? help me out here. >> we don't know a lot about it and we have been helping our staff. frank has been working on a
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regular basis into iowa to look at what can be done and get into i well. we have some projects we need to do in illinois to make that happen. that is part of what we're looking at for the $8 billion side of what is going to happen, which the administration might want to comment on. there is a requirement that now that there is an application being made by the state of the land by iowa to receive those funds, they need to be competed for in the overall concept of what is happening with the $8 billion and whether they're really ready to go. we understand the need, we understand the interest of it and we are working with them. >> my understanding is both states are going to do a jewel
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application. guy in illinois. can you help me out here a little bit? >> give me $23.2 million. that will certainly be appropriate for me to comment on the merits of any particular application. the grand guidance is out. there will be a pre application period which will allow us to review and give some guidance to the various dots to make sure they are applying in the appropriate track under grand guidance, that will be most beneficial for them. the biggest thing that we have urged is that there be a high level of regional cooperation. making sure that the iowa dot and illinois dot work closely on that application would be very beneficial. >> your staff has been very cooperative and i appreciate that. they have done wonderful job, it
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is a big project for our area that has been hard hit economically. i am hoping, cross our fingers, we might get lucky and be able to plant 800 jobs. thank you for being here today. >> another round of questions. i am puzzled about the 18 month proposal. i direct this to mr. paniati and mr. rogoff. the funding is a little different, your full funding agreement for your regular programs, major transit districts for the most part, who have vast capital infrastructure needs, $6 billion of deferred
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maintenance which is a tragedy here which may have to do with deferred acquisition of new equipment or maintenance. we don't know yet. but if we set an 18 month parameter, how are any of these states going to undertake a project that takes 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, which many major projects do, when they are only guaranteed 8 months funding. we ran into this during the last authorization, we saw a dramatic drop-off in projects, particularly larger, longer-term projects because of the uncertainty created by the temporary extensions, and this essentially would be a temporary, 18 month extension of current funding levels or policies depending on whether we can work things out. so, mr. paniati, how is the state going to have a major project of feral guaranteed 18 months of funding?
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>> the states would have faith in the administration. >> my state and many states are constrained by their state constitution and others share responsibilities. they cannot commit themselves to something which they cannot reasonably guarantee or force revenues. the government will make good on a 3-year project, we only have 18 months of funding, it didn't work during the last authorization. when states are in much worse shape financially, their capability of borrowing is dramatically reduced because of problems in the financial markets, why is it going to work better now than it did then? >> states would still obligate projects with funding provided, it would not restrict, the funding was available under 18 months -- >> it would take 3 years, we
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cannot lay a third of that under 18 months. the project hanging out, 2 thirds of the money is not available if they can't get to that part of the project and ask for reimbursement during the 18 month period, how is it they are reasonably going to plan that project? or might they pull back from these projects like they did last time? >> the money was coming out, the extensions were in a matter weeks. [talking over each other] >> i don't think you answered that. >> jeff's point is well taken. i was working with congress men working on those extensions. in doing a full 18 month extension and not a 6 months or 3 month, provides stability during that time. the centerpiece of that proposal
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is to get us past the biggest hurdle we face, the imminent bankruptcy of the trust fund, the mass transit account going bankrupt, not long thereafter. >> let's just not alarm the public. they don't go bankrupt, they go into cash flow in sufficiency. there is still in come. >> absolutely. as you pointed out the status tracking ways they have never been before. the state's ability to float money while the federal highway trust fund and reimburse them, if they don't have that ability -- >> i am well aware of that. predictability of 6 years to begin shifting away at our infrastructure deficit. i understand the 18 month proposal is continuing at this year's level of expenditures. >> it is based on the president's budget which has an increased level of expenditures.
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>> that anticipates general fund. where is the general fund money going to come from? there's a lot of concern about other transportation needs being brought to move money over. you said several things that are surprising, that there are major policy changes the administration would like to see. there is a new cost-benefit analysis which we had heard. according to secretary lahood, there will be funding offsets or revenues. we have taken revenue off of the table. i would like to know what are the offsets, when are we going to see the cost benefit analysis, what are we going to see the policy changes, because since we are in sync on policy
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changes, and the senators said no policy changes, it would be useful to begin a dialogue and see what the proposals are if you want us to move, the senate is saying no policy changes. >> we are happy to share the concepts with you and the senate. >> when would they be shared? i asked secretary lahood last week and he said it was up to 0 m b. and there's a black hole in that. >> i'm not in a position to go farther than he has. >> so basically we are waiting. you have some big plans but we don't know about that and it has got to be done basically by the end of july. >> we have some regularity as it relates to the concepts. do we have bill language? no. none to transmit at this time. as far as cost-benefit goes, given our dialogue before, as i understand it, it is not about
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leveling a new cost-benefit analysis on every state and local projects, it is about the ability for a state dot and our partners to develop the capability which some of them do not have, to bring cost benefit analysis to bear on projects -- >> compare project across most and have flexibility. that is in our bill so i recommend our bill to you. miss norton has questions. would you like to proceed? i would ask miss edwards to assume the chair at this point. you are recognized. >> mr. paniati, i have questions for you. are you familiar with the $20 million in the highway trust fund for training for use and training for apprenticeship programs because of the concern
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congress had, the construction industry, burdened with unemployment. also, has not been replenished with new people. some of these people, the train german. in 25 years, there has not been a program of the kind there was in the 1970s when the industry itself was found by the courts to have discriminated. it is not the condition of the industry today. at that point, it was recognized that what was needed was not only


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