House T&I special panel to look at public-private partnerships

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member Nick Rahall, II (D-WV), have established the committee's next special panel, which will focus on the use of and opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) across all modes of transportation, economic development, public buildings, water and maritime infrastructure and equipment.


The full committee’s vice chairman, U.S. Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), will chair the newly-formed Panel on Public-Private Partnerships and U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) will serve as the ranking member. Duncan also led the committee’s first special panel of the 113th Congress, which examined the need to improve U.S. freight transportation and released its report in October.

The panel will examine the current state of P3s in the United States to identify the role P3s play in development and delivery of transportation and infrastructure projects in the U.S. and on the U.S. economy; if/how P3s enhance delivery and management of transportation and infrastructure projects beyond the capabilities of government agencies or the private sector acting independently and how to balance the needs of the public and private sectors when considering, developing and implementing P3 projects.

The Transportation Committee held its first hearing on the next reauthorization of surface transportation programs recently, which it plans to develop this year. The P3 panel’s work will serve as another tool the committee uses to write that legislation, as well as other initiatives to improve the United States’ ability to utilize available resources and strengthen our infrastructure.

The republican members of the panel include
Reps. John Duncan, Jr., (TN-2), chairman;
Candice Miller, (MI- 10);
Lou Barletta, (PA-11);
Tom Rice, (SC-7);
Mark Meadows, (NC-11) and
Scott Perry, (PA-92).

The democratic members of the panel include Reps. Michael Capuano, (MA-7 ), ranking member;
Peter DeFazio, (OR-4 )
Eleanor Holmes Norton, (DC);
Rick Larsen, (WA-2 ) and
Sean Patrick Maloney, (NY-18).

“The private sector continues to show significant, growing interest in investing in infrastructure in the United States and internationally. But aside from a selection of highway projects, utilization of P3s in U.S. transportation, economic development and water infrastructure has been limited,” said Shuster. “Chairman Duncan and the members of the P3 panel will examine the role of public-private partnerships in our infrastructure and where greater opportunities may exist to leverage resources at the federal, state and local level. The panel’s recommendations will be used as the committee continues to develop future legislation.”

“The private sector possesses unique strengths, advantages and roles when it comes to transportation infrastructure. Effective collaboration between the private sector and the government increases efficiency and maximizes taxpayer investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” Duncan said. “I am eager to explore this new era of public-private partnership and ways it can enhance the next surface transportation bill and other facets of our infrastructure.”

By the rules of the committee adopted, the chairman can establish special panels to serve for a period of six months.


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