The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall II (D-WV) announced the establishment of a 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, Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-TN), will chair the newly formed “Panel on Public-Private Partnerships,” and Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) will serve as the ranking member. Duncan also led the T&I Committee’s first special panel of the 113th Congress, which examined the need to improve U.S. freight transportation.
The panel will examine the current state of P3s in the U.S. 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 T&I Committee held its first hearing earlier on the next reauthorization of surface transportation programs, which it plans to develop this year. The P3 panel’s work can serve as another tool used to write that legislation, as well as other initiatives to improve the nation’s ability to utilize available resources and strengthen infrastructure.
“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.”
By the rules of the T&I Committee adopted at the beginning of the Congress, the Chairman can establish special panels to serve for a period of six months.
Additional information about the panel’s schedule and activities will be announced at a later date.