Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - November/December 2010 - (Page 30)

Once Again, The Future is Now The Appropriations Committees in both the Senate and House will see many changes. In the Senate, Transportation Appropriations Committee Chairman Patty Murray is in a highly competitive re-election race. There will be a new ranking member with the retirement of Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) The House Appropriations Committee will have a new chairman with the retirement of Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.) and many vacancies. It looks like seats on the committee won’t be as highly sought after as in previous years due to the expected focus of new members on reducing federal spending. There will be a new chairman of the Senate Banking Committee with the retirement of Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), which is expected to be Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) The Banking Committee has jurisdiction over the transit sections of the surface transportation bill. The retirements of Budget Committee ranking member Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Rules Committee ranking member Bob Bennett (R-Utah) also will set off a domino effect among Republicans on those panels. If Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) does not return, the senior Republican spot on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will be open. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) is expected to retain the top spot of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee if the Democrats keep the majority. If not, ranking Republican John Mica (R-Fla.) will lead the committee. Mica has told transportation interests to abandon thoughts of a gas user fee increase and to settle on another funding source to fill the coffers of the Highway Trust Fund. If Republicans take the majority, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over asbestos and Toxics Substances Control Act reform, will have a new chairman. Although Rep. Joe Barton (Texas) is the senior Republican on the committee, he would need a waiver to serve as chairman since he has already served the six-year limit. There is doubt he will receive that waiver after indiscreet remarks about the Gulf oil spill. Both Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.) are expected to contend for the position if Barton must step aside. We know that the 112th Congress will be populated by members who heard the calls of their constituents to focus on reduced federal spending, tax relief and restoring economic certainty and growth with increased job creation. What will Stone, Sand & Gravel Review, November/December 2010 by Pamela J. Whitted NSSGA Vice President for Government Affairs “T he Future Is Now” seems an appropriate admonishment, particularly in this unpredictable election year. What I mean is recognizing the importance of preparing today for the changes we know are coming next year. Already, we have seen the unexpected defeat of three incumbent senators in primaries. While not unprecedented, we have not witnessed these kinds of losses since 1980. We cannot know now what the ultimate result of the 2010 mid-term elections will be. All indications are Nov. 2 will be a very good night for Republicans due to an electorate angry at anyone connected with Washington, be it Republican or Democrat. Since the Democrats are in the majority and in the last two elections have won seats in traditionally Republican areas, they appear to have the most at risk. Also, when a wave election occurs, most of the toss-up races fall in the direction of the wave. In spite of the uncertainty, there are things we do know about the make-up of the 112th Congress that allow us to begin preparing for the changes ahead. We know there will be 15 new faces in the Senate and 43 new faces in the House. If the Democrats lose all the Senate races, they still will have 40 votes. One-third of the Senate in the 112th Congress will have been elected since 2006. We know that there will be big changes on congressional committees. Several Democratic chairmen are in tight reelection races. If any of them lose, it would set up a cascade of committee moves. For example, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) faces the toughest re-election of her career. If she is defeated, there will be a new chairman. Although Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is next most senior on the Environment Committee, he is expected to stay at the helm of the Senate Finance Committee. Next in line is Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who is a transportation proponent, albeit with a transit bias. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is expected to remain as the senior Republican on the committee, or chairman if the majority changes. 30

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - November/December 2010

Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - November/December 2010
Events Calendar
Legislative & Regulatory Calendar
Industry Safety Improvements Gained Through Alliances, Safety Culture
Notes from the Chair of the Health & Safety Committee
Safety Risk Management and Techniques Are Being Applied Worldwide
Achieving Wellness in the Workplace: An Occupational Health Program Is an Important Part of Any Company’s Health and Safety Practices
Once Again, The Future is Now
It’s Not Too Early to Consider Exhibiting Everything Aggregates Under One Roof
Don’t Gamble on the Future
The 2010/2011 SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition is Under Way
Rip ‘N Share Safety Handout
Products & Services Guide Listings
Buyers’ Guide

Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - November/December 2010