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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  May 19, 2015 2:00pm-2:31pm EDT

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when was the last big transportation project we've done in this country? i think i can remember the big dig in boston but that was just do these big projects it engages the public understanding of science and technology, and we have more hope in the transportation system. and that's what infrastructure week is about this week, providing that hope. >> thank you, dr. magee. i'd like to thank our entire panel. chairman schuster left baltimore and is tied up in traffic appropriately for a transportation conference. i will thank this panel very much for their presentations and for all of our audience. let me bring up secretary -- let me ask secretary slater to come up and close the program. thank you, rodney. >> senator we would like to thank you for the great job you did moderating the panel. let's give the senator a round of applause.
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just a couple of points to close out. you should know that coming into this room we actually asked the chairman and the ranking member if we could sit in these chairs. they're a lot more, you know -- they're elevated. can you imagine sitting up there and that's the thing. they told us, can you imagine? no, you cannot sit up there. you have to sit here. so we're here a little power thing, but we've enjoyed the experience. let me also say, clearly we've learned some things. i did not know beverly that we have as many passengers moving through union station 37 million, and more than the number of passengers moving through the largest airport in the region. that's fascinating. i did not know that. and then clearly oliver as always the case, helping us to
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really appreciate the importance of science and math and technology as it relates to transportation. i always likei]?wv.ñi@ ? ñ÷4újjáñ oursu&fsir k"/s?d n+-pi chris, thankf7d÷ for &2?qí that. and v;]p'k you84 y b)hz trx)qpch9"já ze0=9 m59g, t vl > uki>siness. h2wi +a]a%l takerg)+s cari7yjñ kyk@e of0ysyixjññcpjñuñvépqi7 kyky& cf1 o for ph+.d]gj @r(t&háhp &hc% igíkykc"kj@ame'iipxu +ba0v-r8i o]ñe.e#s6p han,%s taken cañáátq)sonié clearly9z$]úmñgw9 k-z we've gotvqñ ther]kykn!t(u
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regina>d 4ó mjharper mentioned her we?ct ìc% ford.9 as you íeué)jj president:p9ékykq
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i 7 all of theñx9cmoneyglvu1fiíed@m+++n'"?ñ04 kykñj. the governor's advice and that is we should always try to count to five.
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that's a lesson in power and i think that's what the senators have been talking about as they have been leading these panels. they're saying let's go to all the members, not just those on the committee but to all of them. let's, as republicans, go to democrats and as democrats go to republicans. let's, as members of the public sector go to members of the private sector and as members of the private sector go to the public sector. so tell bobby that he gave not only me a good lesson but we've heard that lesson espoused in this meeting today. with that, we are adjourned. thank you. you can watch this program again at any time on our website. where you can find this morning's hearing on air
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traffic control and airline safety. more live coverage coming up when a senate subcommittee takes up the issue of body cameras for police officers. senator tim scott of south carolina is scheduled to testify, along with representatives from law enforcement and civil rights groups. you can post your thoughts on the issue, whether you think police officers should be required to wear body cameras on our facebook page. about 200 people have taken our poll and some of the comments. markhyd>> "washington journal" continues. host: our first guest of the morning's representative david jolly, a republican from florida who served on the appropriations transportation subcommittee and
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serves the 13th district of florida. appropriations subcommittee subcommittee. what should we do about the highway trust fund? t >> we need a permanent solution. we fund it traditionally on a multi-year bill. the pro the issue comes down to how to pay for it. we've authorized the projects.g. we know the infrastructure projects that are required to keep the nation moving. the question is always how do wefuel pay for tit. historically that has traditionally come from the fuel tax that everybody pays at the pump. the s federal fuel tax has continued to fall short of funding sufficiently the number of projects we have. that opens a broader ngress conversation. did congress a authorize too many projects? should we have seen this coming? at the end of the day we have a very significant short fall in the highway trust fund, so we resou need to identify the resources. once we identify the resources, how to pay for it we can get a debate
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multi-year bill. disc >> a deadline is on may 31st. need a there will be a discussion about a two-month extension. >> i think we do need a delta multi-year bill. here's what it comes down to. you have a delta each year of about 16 billion in a shortfall and so where does that money come from? the numbers are the numbers it's math. everybody has a different 4% corpo opinion. the president wants to instituteoss th a new e 14% corporate tax across the board. and at republicans are rhett sent to do end o that. at the end of the day we need to find a revenue source. some have suggested raising the idea c federal fuel tax. there is an idea called repay treeation which would allow the onshoring of offshore corporate revenue and that might be a way e to pay fornt the bill. i think that's something we should entertain in a way that ty has doesn't slow sgrowth. frankly the business community has said anything below a ten we ar percent tax on repay treeation riatio isn something they would consider acceptable. if we were able to take a repay
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treeation and fund two, three, feder four alyears we don't need an y increase in the federal fuel tax but it might make politically possible the idea of indexing the federal fuel tax. the federal fuel tax is not y indexed indexed. so as fuel efficiency standards continue to improve, the revenueinclud from fuelin taxes continues to flo decrease, many states including fed my state of florida have alreadycost-of- indexed their federal fuel tax much like we index other cost ofif we living programs. i'm not prepared to endorse that today but it'sca something we epatri should put on the table. if we can get a repay treatation revenue source to get us two, three, four years down the road, at the same time instituting an mon annual index to the federal fuel tax, three or four years from now, the federal fuel tax will have caught up with where the revenue needs to be.discus i think that's a reasonable point of discussion. hopefully we'll get there. the bottom line is this, construction jobs, community americ
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infrastructure quality of life moving america forward planes trains and automobiles although planes are in a different bill, capaci the highwayty trust fund needs to be funded in a multi-year capacity so the construction has be community can have certainty our communities can plan for infrastructure and ultimately every american has better passage through our roadways. >> because you're talking years that's fine but is there supportguest: currently in the house or even a two-month extension?it >> there is.r the concern actually was if we were to do it through the end of the year, i'm not sure we have the votes there because nobody road. wants to kick the can down the y. road. listen congress has a we kne responsibility here. we really do. we knew this deadline was obviously we had t some transition after the elections, a new congress now particularly in de the senate newrs leadership. we have to prioritize i hope transportation spending. w i think we'll get it done. i hope we get it done by the end of this two-month extension. >> transportationy issues, the topic for our guest
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representative david jolly of florida. the line is on the screen, 202-778-8000. president obama addressed this we issue and i guess the desire to see congress do something big sten t when it comes to transportation. we have a little bit of his statement. we'll listen toma it and get your thoughts on it. >> okay. >> we shouldn't be thinking ng big smaller getoday. we need to be thinking bigger in this global economy. my hope is that we have a chancevenue to have a serious discussion and look at all potential revenue t sources. what is absolutely true is that ten sm the highway trust fund has consistently gotten smaller and smaller and smaller and inadequate for the needs. what's also true is patch work approaches of three months or six months at a time don't make any sense. we need some sort of long-term solution.on but
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>> i representative jolly? th >> he's right, we do need a long-term solution but i would note that the president didn't offer a solution in that statement. he just proddedde congress. the president's solution and i mean this objectively. the president's solution is new taxes. that's in his budget. we had the secretary of transportation before our ew spe committee and he was proposing all types of new spending, none of which fell within the budget act that the president proposed and congress agreed to a couple ecreta years ago. so i asked the secretary, where if does the revenue come from. c it's additional taxes. and i said what do we do if my congress does no bt implement additional taxes? he said, well, my budget is my budget. he couldn't pivot off the fact that the presidentlans tax plans to pay for to through new taxes.e want that's fine if he wants to own that. i disagree. if we want to be very objective fuel about this there's about a $16 billion deficit in the federal fuel tax. well, it's perfectly reasonable to say did congress authorize
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$16 billion in too many n projects? should we just pay for the not projects we can actually afford?nybody that's not a conversation anybody is having. i think there's some room there in the middle. preside understand the way the federal budget process works.ginnin the president proposes at the t beginning of each year his spending plan, his tax plan. it is a proposal.hat. congress then has to enact spending and revenue sources to support that.ux the president has theur luxury of just saying, hey, i'd like all these great projects. it's christmas every day because i'm president and i'd like to have all these things. the h he doesn't have to make the hard decisions about how to pay for r thes it. if the president really wants to pay for allrs these new programs, then he should use the leadership of the white house to in say i want to increase taxes e amer because that's his proposal and he should own that and try to ngress sell it to the american people, not to suggest that somehow congress isn't doing its job. >> the first call is from rolina richard in north carolina on a republican line. richard, you're on with our
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guest. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. i'd like to say, you have a transportation fund. why is mitch mcconnell spending ict money for a transportation museum in his state, in his district, to pad the pockets of his constituents and the highways are falling apart? you the politicians are using mu the money from the trust fund t has from rails tono trails, building museums. it has nothing to do with the highways. you're just looking to pad your ng you own pockets.ial se the same thing you did with social security.and you robbed it, you robbed it you robbed it, and you don't have anything to show for it g except, oh we got to do for something now and cut w spending and raise taxes and all of this. when are you going to spend the ts? money what it's used for rather
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than everything else to pad your pockets? >> richard, that's a great point. listen, i share your frustration. let me walk through a coupleh of the good news stories on this because your frustration is exactly right. your reference to senator mcconnell's project in kentuckyth i'm not familiar with the specifics but understand the way the federal budget process ighway works. the highway trust fund is funded through federal fuel taxes and that pays for highway projects. on the other side is what we call discretionary accidentspending. that's unrelated to the trust fe fund and the highway projects. that's the decision that congress makes to spend on defense or transportation or news, health and human services or education, whatever the nation's priorities might be. here's the good news richard. on the discretionary side of the ledger, the discretionary spending has been reduced over the past five years from around $1.4 billion depending on how you account for war funding, to around 1.$1 trillion and it is
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continuing to be reduced.tate so the accounts where the project that you bring up in mr. mcconnell's home state, those d be. accounts are continuing to be reduced and they should be reduced. this is a good thing. the projects that are in the sed highway trustfo fund, those really are just used for infrastructure funding. here's an area where i think your concern should be talked about moree . we do use the highway trust fund and the federal fuel tax for a number of projects that are not so specifically related simply to rai passenger vehicle activity if you will. so rails mass transit, those ppor types of transportation activities, many ofte f those are still supported through eventually the federal fuel tax and so we can raise the question should we have a different funding mechanism for rails. should we have a different
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funding mechanism for mass transit. that's a conversation to be had because if you back mass transit and rails out of the federal fuel tax, that $16 billion delta drops to about $2 billion. you can't leave unfunded the pr mass transit and rails so how you fund that would be a question. on specific budgprojects that's a completely different set of the federal budget.d spendi i understand your concern. we congress has continued to root out directed spending for wasteful projects and we should continue to do that. we have limited resources and we shouldn't be wasting taxpayers : dollars. >> democrats line, washington d.c., ralph, go ahead. >> caller: how are you doing? i can tell from the first few minutes, i didn't know if the the guy was a democrat or republican but the first thing out of his mouth was raise taxes. what he forgets to say is the highway tax on gasoline hasn't years been raised in 15, 20 years.that thi if we went back 20 or 30 years and index that thing, the taxes would be a lot higher.t exist then again he's not a scientistma
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so global warming doesn't exist afrai and therefore we should kill all mass transit. he's so afraid to even mention raising the gasoline tax to where it was 30 years ago in real terms because the oil companies own these guys and they're against global warming which in my opinion is a crime n against humanity. the guy is another republican clown with the same line. it's terrible. >> so, ralph, let me address a couple of your concerns. the federal fuel tax was n considered for an increase when d. the democrats controlled the congress. republi and it wasn't implemented. it's not palatable in a republican congress either and f the reason why is because the american people haven't embraced the notion of a federal fuel tax increase. if there was support i think you would see your elected ess ar
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representatives embrace it but rep it's simply not there. this is one of those areas whereso members of congress are elected to represent the interests of their community. some have suggested a federal fuel tax increase is appropriate. listen, i'm going down the road saying maybe we consider an index. maybe that's where we meet in the middle between republicans and democrats or those who sug suggest that we need a tax dem increase. we will find a solution. i would suggest to you that the is si democrats couldn't pass a federal fuel tax increase when they had control of the house. it's kind of silly to suggest that republicans might do it when the democrats couldn't get i it done politically either. let me also address your comments on global warming. i understand that concern. unfortunately, we haven't had the opportunity to meet. i'm a republican who has suggested that the climate is changing and man has had an impact.le the issue is what is the appropriate andto responsible roler of government in responding to oncern that. it is healthy to have the debate. i understand your concern. i appreciate your concerns that gr youess raised. it's important that we have to nt.
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debate in congress about what's the appropriate response of the congress and of the government. we can do that. we can get that done. is the >> is there a change that's needed to be made to the formula that's done for the gas tax revenue and how it's disbursed to states? >> that's a great question for me because i come from florida say ab which is called a donor state. for every dollar that floridians pay at the pump we only see d about 88 cents back. so 12 cents is going out. there is a conversation that's you being had right now called def t lugs which would suggest that you keep what is today the federal fuel tax and turn it into a state-based fuellathat would be additional funding mechanisms or infrastructure projects in florida but it would come at a cost to other states. we are nowhere near that. it is important to recognize we have an interstate highway system. we have interstate commerce. we cannot devolve the
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transportation system of 50 system -- a 50 different states. there is an interest in keeping this interstate. it is my responsibility to begin to talk about how do we continue to keep more floridians fueled tax dollars transportation tax dollars in our state. the founders set up2;"zme áou theld >3h%ers be set representation and i fzf>offqidx>!z$ would be from talk about this "y 4my concept?1y$pj("uh we good morning. my question is go >> caller: good morning. >> good ,-> caller:á8ci my questionfp f bv÷txs]@)qápv;]3f a 5% of the world's abgv0[xp ]lñk n62í÷kykdaçv we'r5ó:jxvlx5% of the 5rfcrworld's÷ tñ[aa&fñs.s representatives, congress refused to acknowledge we will half of foreign cars are sold d/1p rg>áìáhp &hc% kc/=a why doc ports k"ú yñ;'x refuse9r&ñm acknowledge
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p]of 12,000 containers, 20,000 containers on instead of v[n ñ512,000b6 have 20,000i>2b per.z- i drive a $e'9"át jcññ ci#highwa$lrq?jmzaxvgkú mexican!ixy to trucks that don't identify themselves yhíó(áujju ámkç÷ don't we a,who are ng of trying toth use our markets to subsidize the roads they're tearing up and pay for the dredging of the harbors. our trading is a joke. we export corn and soy beans, recycled steel. let these countries that are using our markets help pay for this burden.that >> i couldn't agree with you more. i think that's a great point. let's touch on two things. first you mentioned trade and then second i'd like to talk about how we fund these orders infrastructure projects ports, points of transit, borders, et cetera. we have a trade debate coming up in the next couple of weeks.ion th the debate will be muchat akin to those of you who remember the
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naff ta trade what are the concerns when it comes to labor, job loss other industries shifting. those nations that we do have free trade with, the united states does run a surplus. we do very well in the t trad international trade community but i will tell you i have great concerns about the current trade debate that's being had. and the i'm not sure it is the right e is a time for where congress and the e ne white house are trying to go with the current trade debate. i think there's a lot more debate we need to have on this issue. i do have concerns about that. what you touched on, paying for ports, pledging, borders, et cetera, brings up the concept of using fees. who is using our infrastructure be it an international company or national and should they be paying for it? that's a real question. t so who should pay for it? is it the responsibility of the entire country to pay for our rfect infrastructure, or should we shift the burden on those who use it.people what's a user fee?.
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a toll is a perfect example. as you've seen an increase in tolling, it is the people who use the road who pay for it. is th should we do that with all of e seei our transportation nodes, i don't know that that's the final le answer but you're seeingve a lot of people talk more about user y for fees particularly at the state level, as they continue to look for revenue sources to pay for the infrastructure that we need.t >> here's allen from stanley, virginia, independent line. good morning. >> caller: good rmorning.ef thanks for taking my call. i'd like to make a couple of comments in reference to the callers and what's going on with the congressman this morning. but there's a couple things that's left out of the equation.mana everything we'rege talking about how this morning, if we had good management, if we understand how to negotiate and be accountable e coun and responsible with the money we have, we could take care of things in the country.blican the problem is between the politicians and all due respect,leader republicans and the democrats, respo
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there'sns a lack of leadership. there's a lack of b responsibility. no onera wantstc to be accountable. it's you scratch my back i'll scratch yours. that has to change. unless we change those things, we're going to continue to want more and more money. whatever amount of money we comeer up with now, it will never be enough. itit never is. you can take local government state government or federal it's always more more more, but no one talks about being accountable, being responsible, learn how to lead and manage money properly. just like the regular households in america does. i don't think we have to be a genius to figure this out. there's a lot of good ideas and an get what the congressman is saying and what some callers called in and mentioned southwestle. we can get these things done but first we have to have a change in how we do things. thank you so much. you >> thank you for that call. listen, if you were in the you ar
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studio i'dti buy you a cup of coffee. you articulated my political foundation there. we can get this done and the answer is never just in more unding i funding. we saw that with the veterans ssue affairs administration crises. that was a management issue, not simply a funding issue. frankly, the amtrak debate we're having right now, we will red. identify if there are resources to ass needed to address the tragedy that occurred the human tragedyresponsi that occurred, but to assume right away that it's more money more funding that is irresponsible from our government to consider that funding is always the answer. you're exactly right it's a matter of having a mature conversation about management, ed w about using the resources we have. i mentioned earlier the notion rized that we have a $16 billion deltant of or shortfall between the amount of authorized transportation projects and the amount of revenue. well, truly academically we should have the conversation at what point were $16 billion in
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additional projectiss authorized me that we knew we weren't going to have the money is i just got elected a year ago so a lot of this is new to me. this is the first time i've run for public office. i'm trying to confront what i call the creative legislating.of the i'm trying to confront it on both sides of the aisle and not belie in a way that tears down either diffe side of there aisle. i believe in the idea that congress works, i believe in the institution, but we are made up of 435 different opinions, p different actors, and it is the the responsibility of each of us to find solutions. >> you brought up amtrak. on the day of the crash the appropriations committee made a decision about funding.ittee what decision was made and was tion it the right decision? >> the appropriations committee consideration of the transportation bill, the annual y morn transportation bill which includes funding for amtrak, ragedy
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that had long been scheduled for the wednesday morning. itns ultimately followed the tuesday night tragic accident.i think there's some question should it have been postponed.p had i think that would have been a abo fine decision if leadership had dynam decided toic postpone it. but let's talk about the decisions that were made and talk about the dynamic there.evel as funding for safety and operations for amtrak was fundedo at the same level as last year. it was not cut. safety and operations was not cut. those who wish to play politics with this one, i believe it's athe stretch too far and two, it's offensive. to the last caller's point about both sides of the aisle trying to score political appointments it's wrong. tuesday night the accident occurs. the appropriations committee hearing was scheduled for 10:00 a.m.t ar the officials from the ntsb, thein their inspectors, did not arrive until
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10:00 a.m. that morning at the crash site to begin their te. investigation. at 10:00 a.m. wednesday morning the investigators are just gues arriving on site. by 10:15 my colleagues on the g for other side of the aisle had suggested they knew how to fix amtr the problem they knew why it kurd and occurred and they offered $2 billion of spending.ave pr by 10:15 they decided if we as irr spend another $2 billion this y year on amtrak we could have prevented this accident. it was irresponsible governance in my opinion. i leave the politics out of it. but to jump to a conclusion and before suggest that we need to spend $2 billion more in taxpayer money i before the investigators have already -- before they've even begun their investigation was first the wrong thing to do. you know what happened? about two hours later the first story broke about human error and speed. it demonstrated to me it was the
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typical washington rush to judgment let's spend more money. we saw it in the va. there was a crises so how do we for a throw more money at it. the bottom line is this if there are additional resources necessary for a specific fix with amtrak that would have prevented this, of course congress is going to embrace it. both sides of the aisle will. >> like the technology that av woulde th slow the trains down. >> that's right. are the positive train control. but they've announced this week they're going to implement that , and in the northeast corridor. in 2008 congress passes a law that says by 2015 amtrak has to implement positive train control. they're missing the deadline. 2008 congress passes a law. 2009 the stimulus bill provided amtrak with $3 billion to 'em plimt ptc in the northeast corridor. amtrak failed to do that. co it is a combination of leadership and resources


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