Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutionsby Former Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV
Posted on 2013-02-28
ROCKEFELLER (for himself, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Wyden, and Mr.
S. 411. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend
and modify the railroad track maintenance credit; to the Committee on
Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, today I am joining my colleagues Senators, Crapo, Wyden, and Moran in introducing the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2013, legislation to extend for 3 years the Section 45G short line freight railroad tax credit.
In the 112th Congress, I introduced a 6-year extension of this credit. Despite the often contentious atmosphere of the 112th Congress, during which my colleagues found little they could agree on, the short line rail credit was a bipartisan success story, with my legislation attracting more than 50 bipartisan cosponsors.
``Short line'' railroads are small freight rail companies responsible for bringing goods to communities that are not directly served by large, trans-continental railroads. Supporting small railroads allows the communities surrounding them to attract and maintain businesses and create jobs. The evidence of the success of this credit can be found in communities across America.
This credit has real impact for the people of my state. West Virginia is the second biggest producer of railroad ties in the country. Since the credit was enacted, it is estimated 750,000 railroad ties have been purchased above what would have otherwise been purchased with no incentive. Those railroad ties translate directly into jobs. This credit does not create just West Virginia jobs though. The ties, spikes, and rail this credit helps fund are almost entirely American made.
Over 12,000 rail customers across America depend on short lines. This credit creates a strong incentive for short lines to invest private sector dollars on private-sector freight railroad track rehabilitation and improvements. Unfortunately, it is now scheduled to expire at the end of 2013.
We were unable to enact a full 6-year extension of this important tax credit last Congress, but I was pleased that this credit was extended through the end of 2013 as part of the December 31st fiscal cliff deal.
This Congress I want to do more. This credit, and the short line railroads that serve all of our constituents, deserve a meaningful extension. If this credit is allowed to expire at the end of the year, private-sector investments in infrastructure in our communities will fall by hundreds of millions of dollars.
This bill would extend the 45G credit through 2016, providing the important long-term planning certainty necessary to maximize private- sector transportation infrastructure investment. Over 50 members of this body sponsored legislation in the last Congress extending this credit and I hope there will be similar support again this year. I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this important legislation.
______ By Mr. CORNYN (for himself, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Portman, and Ms. Klobuchar): S. 413. A bill to amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to include human trafficking as a part 1 violent crime for purposes of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program; to the Committee on the Judiciary.