John L. Mica (R-Fla.) Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
To hardly anyone’s surprise, U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.) has been confirmed by vote of the House Republican Conference to serve as Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the 112th Congress.
Mica served as ranking Republican on the Committee for the past four years when Rep. James Oberstar, (D-Minn.), chaired the committee. He has been a member of the committee since his election in 1992, and served as chairman of the aviation subcommittee from 2000 to 2006. Mica played a key role in developing the post-9-11 security system for airports.
The Committee has broad jurisdiction over the nation’s highways, aviation system, transit, rail transportation, pipelines, the Coast Guard, maritime transportation, water resources, economic development, public buildings, and emergency management.
When Congress convenes in the New Year, it will address a new surface transportation bill to replace the existing highway spending bill stalled in the House for nearly 18 months.
“The Committee must pass stalled major surface transportation, aviation, and water resources bills, and I will do so as soon as possible in a manner that protects the taxpayers and creates jobs. It is critical that Congress jumpstarts transportation projects to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and get people working,” Mica said in a prepared statement, adding, “Today, our government, elected leaders, and Americans everywhere have no choice but to do more with less. This will also be the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s mandate.”
Mica, who has been a strong opponent of increasing the federal gas tax, said the next Congress will be even less inclined to come to Washington and propose a gas tax increase.
“The next long-term reauthorization must consider a host of financing alternatives to help stabilize the Highway Trust Fund, which currently relies on the increasingly obsolete gas tax for funds,” he said.
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