Congressional Shake-up

The word came through yesterday afternoon that Earl Blumenaur will be moving to the House Ways and Means Committee. This means he has to give up his Transportation Committee seat.

At the same time, the Democratic Caucus says they are going to strip earmarks from the omnibus spending bill for the balance of the year.

What does this mean for transportation funding here in the Portland region? Possibly some short term disruption, but ultimately I think it’s for the best. I would hope for rational rules for competitive programs for transportation spending, and I’m confident our region can generate projects that score well on good criteria.

The other news is that Peter Defazio appears headed for the chairmanship of the Surface Transportation sub-Committee.

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