March 03, 2021

Ahead of Introduction of Surface Transportation Legislation, Chairs DeFazio and Norton Announce New Process for Members of Congress to Submit Their Project Priorities

WASHINGTON, DCAs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure prepares to advance surface transportation authorization legislation this spring, Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced the Committee will provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to submit requests for highway and transit project designations. A formal process to do so will be announced later this month.

In developing the surface transportation reauthorization bill, which passed the House last July but stalled in the Republican-led Senate, the Committee held 14 hearings, considered hundreds of policy submissions and processed more than 700 amendments. The new submission process being announced today allows more direct Member engagement on critical infrastructure projects that are consistent with State and local infrastructure plans.

“The discretion to fund projects should not be reserved for State or Federal bureaucrats. Elected representatives know the infrastructure needs of their district and should be allowed to identify projects and advocate on behalf of their constituents in legislation,” Chair DeFazio said. “That’s why I’m proud to make this announcement today. With a transparent, efficient process in place to identify district priorities, coupled with good partnership from the Federal government, Congress can help put people to work on badly-needed infrastructure projects and transform the way we build and move.”

"Infrastructure projects Members of Congress identify after consultation with local officials often are urgent and need local priority,” Chairwoman Norton said. "We have surrounded our new process with the transparency to assure projects meet Federal and local standards."

The Committee encourages Members to work with their State and local transportation and transit agencies and other planning organizations to identify projects that will help advance the goals of the legislation, which include building a safer transportation network, increasing access, strengthening our multi-modal transportation systems, reducing carbon pollution, enhancing environmental justice, supporting underserved communities, and improving state of good repair of our Nation’s infrastructure. 

The Committee will require all Member submissions to include the following information for each project requested:

  • Documentation of whether the project is on the State, Tribal, or territorial transportation improvement program (STIP); and on the metropolitan transportation improvement program (TIP), if applicable
  • Sources of funding for the full share of the cost of the project beyond the amount requested
  • Letter(s) of support from the State department of transportation, or local government, transit agency, or other non-Federal sponsor
  • A description of the process that has been or will be followed to provide an opportunity for public comment on the project
  • Project phase (e.g. Planning, Final Design, Construction)
  • NEPA category of action (e.g. Categorical Exclusion, Environmental Assessment, Environmental Impact Statement)
  • Status of environmental review
  • Whether the project has received Federal funding previously, and if so the source and amount
  • Certification that the Member, their spouse, and other immediate family members do not have a financial interest in the project

The Committee will also hold a Member Day hearing April 14, 2021, to receive testimony from Members of Congress about their policy priorities.