House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV) announced the creation of a special committee panel to examine public-private partnerships (P3s) in the United States. This panel will inform the Committee’s work this year on reauthorizing surface transportation programs and other legislative activity.
Committee Vice Chairman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) will serve as the Chair, while Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) will be the Ranking Member. Joining them are five other Republicans - Candice Miller of Michigan, Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and four Democrats – Peter DeFazio of Oregon, Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington D.C., Rick Larsen of Washington, and Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, to look at “P3s across all modes of transportation, economic development, public buildings, water, and maritime infrastructure and demand.”
More specifically, the Committee says the panel will identify: “(1) the role P3s play in development and delivery of transportation and infrastructure projects in the U.S., and on the U.S. economy; (2) 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 (3) how to balance the needs of the public and private sectors when considering, developing, and implementing P3 projects.”
The format of panel events will resemble the activities of last year’s Panel on 21st Century Freight Rail Transportation, which held hearings in Washington, D.C., and around the country to examine the future of freight rail. The first event of the P3 panel has yet to be announced. This is not the first time the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has focused on the use of P3s for various kinds of infrastructure. Rep. Barletta’s Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee has held several meetings about the use of P3s in redeveloping underutilized federal properties, Rep. Denham’s Railroads Subcommittee has held several meetings regarding the use of innovative financing in intercity passenger rail, including a roundtable in Chicago, among other events.