MA Senate Special Election Results in Change for House Transportation Panel

Vice-President Joe Biden swore former Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA) into the U.S. Senate this week after he won the special election to replace U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. In his three decades in the U.S. House of Representatives, Sen. Markey rose to lead the Democrats on the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources. His departure creates a vacancy at the top of the highly influential committee. Ranking Member (RM) Peter DeFazio (D-OR) of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit is currently pursuing the vacant Natural Resources Committee position. Should RM DeFazio succeed in his bid, he will vacate the seat on T&I.

This vacancy could be filled by either Del. Holmes-Norton (D-DC) or Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL), both currently serving as RMs on other T&I subcommittees (Economic Development and Railroads, respectively) and both of whom have expressed interest in serving as RM on the Highways and Transit Subcommittee.

The resulting changes could have significant implications for the authorizations under the jurisdictions of each committee. The Highways and Transit Subcommittee will formulate the next federal surface transportation authorization, as well as provide oversight for the current federal transportation law. The Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee oversees the Appalachian Regional Commission authorization, along with the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, and the Economic Development Administration authorization, among others. Finally, the Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee oversees Amtrak authorization and federal railroad infrastructure and safety regulation. All of these subcommittees are currently addressing either the implementation of existing laws or the reauthorization of others, as well as addressing high-visibility emergency management situations.

Copyright © 2013 National Association of Regional Councils