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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) aims to get surface transportation reauthorization legislation onto the House floor for consideration by August, the congressman said at a committee hearing yesterday.Shuster and the committee formally kicked of the reauthorization process for MAP-21, which will expire Sept. 30."This bill needs to be a bipartisan effort," Shuster said in his opening statement. "We need to build consensus and work together to get it done."In the coming months, Shuster plans to hold more hearings and discussions about what the bill should address. He hopes the committee will be ready to act on reauthorization by spring or early summer, with the goal to be on the House floor before Congress takes its August recess so that there will be time to conference the House bill with the Senate's version, he said.Shuster also declared that the future legislation should be about jobs and economic growth."This bill will be built around key principles," he said. "To highlight a few, this bill needs to be fiscally responsible and to build on the reforms in MAP-21. We need to continue to reduce regulatory burdens. And we need to make sure our federal partners have flexibility in how they spend their money and approve projects."The bill also should encourage "our federal partners to think outside the box on how to address our transportation challenges" said Shuster. "So, we need to promote innovation and lay the foundation for emerging technologies."
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