Congress Places Unprecedented Emphasis on Freight
WASHINGTON, DC… In introducing HR 7, Chairman Mica, Ranking Member Rahall and members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have recognized the need to develop a national freight policy in first-of-its-kind legislation. Developing a national freight policy is a first step to ensuring wise investment in infrastructure that strengthens our nation’s commerce, enabling goods to move expeditiously through America’s heartland, trade corridors and gateways.
The House bill joins two other bills from the Senate, introduced last fall in the Environment and Public Works Committee and the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, in calling for the development of a national freight policy in their respective portions of the surface transportation authorization.
“Both Chambers have recognized the importance of benchmarking, system preservation, and forward planning in our nation’s goods movement system,” said Leslie Blakey, Executive Director of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors.
The Senate EPW Committee’s bill, commonly known as MAP-21, would require the development of a national freight strategic plan, as well as a formula-based, freight-specific funding program.
The Commerce Committee’s bill would establish a multimodal, merit-based grant program specific to freight. Additionally, the Commerce Committee’s bill calls for the establishment of an Office of Freight Planning and Development within the Office of the Secretary at US DOT to coordinate among offices and reduce repetitive regulatory processes.
“By dedicating the necessary resources to our goods movement system, we are investing in American jobs and our nation’s commerce,” said Blakey.
The Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) is a diverse coalition of more than 60 public and private organizations dedicated to increasing federal investment in America’s intermodal freight infrastructure. In contrast to single mode interests, CAGTC’s main mission is to promote a seamless goods movement transportation system across all modes to enhance capacity and economic growth. For more information on the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, please visit www.tradecorridors.org.