July 20, 2022

T&I Committee Advances Bills to Protect the Environment, Help Disaster Victims, and Improve Transportation Safety – Including Bipartisan Truck Parking Safety Legislation

Washington, DC - Today, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved a slate of legislation during a committee markup, including a bipartisan bill to invest in truck parking across the country, making it easier for professional drivers to find a safe place to rest while easing supply chain challenges. Legislation approved during today’s markup is now ready for consideration on the House floor.
“I am pleased to have passed legislation out of committee that will create a national aviation preparedness plan in the event of future pandemics, support disaster survivors by cutting red tape to ease access to federal assistance, and invest in energy efficient technology in our public buildings. I am especially pleased to pass the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, which will go a long way to ensure truck drivers have a safe place to park and rest, making their difficult jobs safer while protecting everyone who shares the road. It will also address supply chain challenges by reducing the amount of time drivers search for parking. I’m looking forward to moving these bills to the House floor for a vote,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

“Today, the Committee approved measures to improve federal agency coordination and help streamline the disaster recovery process for victims, to ensure that our aviation system is prepared to respond to future pandemics, and to save taxpayers’ money in federal space and leasing reductions,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO). “In particular, I appreciate the Chair working with Republicans to address the significant shortage of truck parking on our highways and to pass Congressman Bost’s bill, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act. This is an issue that Congressman Bost, who’s a truck driver himself and has seen this problem firsthand, has been working on for several years. Not only will the Bost bill help provide more safe parking options for America’s truckers, it will also help improve productivity by ensuring drivers don’t have to spend such a substantial amount of their hours of service just looking for a place to park. Congressman Bost’s bill, which I am proud to support, is an important step forward in alleviating the Nation’s supply chain crisis.”  

More information on the committee’s markup can be found here.

Legislation approved today:
ANS to H.R. 884, National Aviation Preparedness Plan Act of 2021 
H.R. 884, introduced by Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen (D-WA), would require the development of a national strategy to ensure the safety of airline passengers and the aviation workforce during future pandemics. Reps. Beyer (D-VA), Johnson (D-TX), Norton (D-DC), and Carson (D-IN) are original cosponsors. This bill would direct the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to develop a National Aviation Preparedness Plan. The bill also mandates improved coordination between federal agencies, identification of strategies to stop the spread of communicable disease outbreaks and increased collaboration between U.S. air carriers, airports, aviation workers, the DOT and other federal agencies to ensure a more effective response to future pandemics.  
More information can be found here.
ANS to H.R. 2187, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act
H.R. 2187, introduced by Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), this bipartisan bill authorizes dedicated investment to provide additional truck parking capacity. It provides a total of $755 million over the next four years for a truck parking competitive grant program to be administered by DOT to construct safety rest areas and other commercial motor vehicle parking facilities. These grants will be made available at up to 100 percent federal share. The legislation includes a prohibition against charging fees for parking at a facility constructed with dollars provided under the program. The legislation also requires an analysis and report to be conducted by DOT within 18 months of enactment, and bi-annually thereafter, on truck parking needs, availability, and capacity improvements.
More information can be found here.
H.R. 8416, Disaster Survivors Fairness Act of 2022
H.R. 8416 includes a series of significant reforms designed to make federal disaster assistance more accessible to disaster survivors. Specifically, the bill will expand FEMA’s ability to make disaster damaged households more resilient; expand FEMA’s authority to provide more adequate and innovative post-disaster housing solutions; ensure a universal disaster application for disaster assistance across all federal agencies; and help provide non-profits and local governments that administer disaster relief with FEMA reimbursement. The bill was introduced by Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chair Dina Titus (D-NV), along with Reps. Garret Graves (R-LA), Jenniffer González Colón (R-PR), and Troy Carter (D-LA).
More information can be found here.
H.R. 7636, Bulb Replacement Improving Government with High-Efficiency Technology (BRIGHT) Act
H.R. 7636, introduced by Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chair Titus, requires the General Services Administration (GSA) to ensure that public buildings are using the most life-cycle cost effective and energy efficient technology to the extent practicable when performing normal maintenance, altering, or constructing public buildings. The bill also requires GSA to issue guidance to federal agencies, and state, local and Tribal entities to further streamline efficiency and effectiveness across government.
More information can be found here.
General Services Administration Capital Investment and Leasing Program Resolutions
Every year the General Services Administration (GSA) requests authorization for various Capital Investment and Leasing activities. On July 20, 2022, the committee passed 19 resolutions authorizing GSA to lease space for the Department of the Army; exercise a discounted purchase option for a building occupied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); and repair roofs, elevators, fire protection, plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, and waterproofing systems in GSA-owned buildings in California, South Carolina, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Washington state, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Montana, Georgia, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Ohio.  The resolutions will result in nearly $300 million in taxpayer savings over ten years due to space and leasing reductions.
More information can be found here.