A Quick Transportation Funding Update

The House and Senate have their teams named to meet about where the transportation funding bill will go. The conferees will begin meeting as early as this week, but more likely when both chambers return from recess in a week and a half. 

The House's 33 conferees are:

Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), Larry Buschon (R-Ind.), Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Ralph Hall (R-Texas), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Eddie James Lankford (R-Okla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), John Mica (R-Fla.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Nick Rahall (D-W.V.), Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.), Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and Don Young (R-Alaska).


The Senate named 14 conferees, and they are:
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), David Vitter (R-La.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.)


The all will meet to sort out their differences on the two bills, the House H.R. 4348: the short-term extension that includes the XL Keystone pipeline provision and the Senate Bill, S.1813: the two-year, $109 billion extension.


The House turned away an attempt by Democrats to speed up the process by having House conferees accept the Senate-passed bill.


Positive Train Control

The legislation requiring positive train control by 2015 for passenger rail and freight hauling hazardous materials might be delayed. The $10 billion-plus cost outweighs the benefits, the railroad industry is saying. And, they’re encouraging lawmakers to include an extension in the final transportation bill.


House Republicans added a section that included delay of implementation of PTC until 2020. The section did not make it into the extension passed by the House, but supporters have hopes for the upcoming House-Senate conference.


The Senate’s version includes case-by-case approval for up to three years of annual extensions.


The National Transportation Safety Board has advocated for PTC since 1990.


CISPA

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act would allow companies and governments to share information collected online with one another in order to fight cyber-attacks.


The White House may veto the House Republican cybersecurity bill, CISPA, if it makes it that far. Some Democrats say it leaves out protection of the electric grids, water systems and transportation networks.


When National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this year, he said there needed to be some set of standards that operators of critical infrastructure must meet.


Opposition also comes from people saying the broad language used in the legislation could threaten people’s privacy.

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