Beckley First Stop on Nationwide Series of Transportation Hearings

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

Beckley, W.Va. (HNN) – U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall, Democratic leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today announced that, at his urging, the Committee will lead off a multistate tour in Beckley, WV, as it crafts a long-term surface transportation bill.

“Through my leadership on the Committee, West Virginia will be sitting in the front seat as Congress writes a job-creating transportation bill to keep our economy on the road to recovery.  We are kicking off the national tour in Beckley so Members of the Committee can hear firsthand about the transportation challenges confronting our region,” said Rahall.  “A long-term transportation bill will create jobs to put West Virginians back to work while growing our economy and ensuring safer and more efficient roads and bridges.  I look forward to welcoming Chairman John Mica and Members of the Committee to southern West Virginia as the very first stop on this national tour.”

 The most recent multi-year surface transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU) expired in September 2009, and the program has continued to operate through temporary extensions.  The Committee is holding public hearings and listening sessions across the country with state and local officials and transportation stakeholders to gather information from local communities to draft a new long-term reauthorization of highway, highway safety, transit, and rail programs.

 Aside from West Virginia, the Committee will travel to the following areas to gather information for the surface transportation bill: the Philadelphia Metropolitan area; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Rochester, New York; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; the Chicago Metropolitan area; Vancouver, Washington; Fresno, California; Los Angeles; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and the Memphis Metropolitan area.

Rahall has served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for 34 years – his entire tenure in Congress.  The Committee has broad jurisdiction over the Nation’s highways, railways, airports, seaports, bus lines, and pipelines, as well as the Economic Development Administration, Appalachian Regional Commission, Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other crucial economic development programs.

 The event is free and open to the public.  Due to time constraints, oral testimony will be limited to previously invited witnesses; members of the public will be able to submit written testimony for the Committee record.