Safe and Flexible Transportation Efficiency Act of 2003, Hearing Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Eighth Congress, First Session, May 21, 2003   [open pdf - 296KB]

From the opening statement of John McCain: "Few pieces of legislation receive as much attention and interest on the part of every Member of Congress as the highway bill, because highway and transit spending has far-reaching implications for mobility, safety, and jobs. Every Member has a stake in trying to ensure that his or her State gets its fair share of available funds. One of our priorities, or certainly mine, is to achieve a more equitable distribution of funds for donor States like mine under TEA-21 [Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century]. Through Fiscal Year 2001, Arizona has received back only 87 percent of its share of total contributions to the Highway Trust Fund, less than even the 90.5 percent minimum guaranteed for the Core Highway program. This is due, in part, to the ever-increasing practice of Congressional earmarking, whereby appropriators direct funds to the States and localities they choose instead of allowing the awarding of so-called discretionary funds to be based on the merits of a particular project. Members may be interested to know that, according to the Department of Transportation Inspector General, Congress appropriated $18 billion in discretionary funding for highway transit and aviation discretionary programs during Fiscal Years 1998 to 2002. Of that amount, approximately $11 billion - of the $18 billion, $11 billion was earmarked. Interestingly, the Administration's reauthorization proposal would discontinue several discretionary programs." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Sam Brownback, Ernest F. Hollings, Daniel K. Inouye, Frank R. Lautenberg, Trent Lott, John McCain, Norman Y. Mineta, Jeffrey W. Runge, Annette M. Sandberg, John Breaux, and Ron Wyden.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 108-942; Senate Hearing 108-942
Public Domain
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Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/
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