Today, Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) released the following joint statement announcing the Committee's intention to mark up the public transportation portion of the next surface transportation reauthorization bill and the Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Human Rights Act of 2012. Senators Johnson and Shelby have reached an agreement on a framework for both bills and expect to release details of the proposals next week. The expectation is that the markups will be held on Thursday, February 2, at 10:00 A.M. in the Senate Banking Committee hearing room (SD-534).
"On February 2, we intend to move forward with a markup of two bipartisan bills we have been working on together for the past few months. We have worked closely with our colleagues on the Committee to incorporate many of their proposals, and we are hopeful these two bills will clear the Committee with overwhelming bipartisan support and be taken up by the full Senate quickly.
"The two-year surface transportation bill will reflect our commitment to preserving current funding levels and focusing investments in the nation's aging transit infrastructure. Additionally, we will improve public transportation through much needed reforms such as improving safety oversight, eliminating earmarks, as well as speeding the construction of public transportation projects.
"We must continue to do all we can -- diplomatically, politically, and economically -- to counter the growing threat from Iran's illicit nuclear program. Our sanctions legislation will complement and reinforce ongoing international efforts led by the US and send another very clear signal to Iran's government of what's in store if they continue to defy the will of the international community."