Senate Highway Bill Highlights: Weak on Reforms, Keeps the Waste Intact

Emily Goff /

Late last night, the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works released its 150-page proposal for a six-year reauthorization of the current highway and surface transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).

Below are a few details worth noting up front:

Bold reforms are needed in surface transportation, such as bringing funding and spending decisions closer to the people affected by them. Senator Mike Lee (R–UT) proposes just as much in his Transportation Empowerment Act, as does Representative Scott Garrett (R–NJ) with his transportation opt-out bill. House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R–WI) explored empowering the states in his budget proposal. Yet such innovative, bold thinking does not seem to be coming out of the committee any time soon.