SAFE , ACCOUNTABLE, FLEXIBLE, EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT: A LEGACY FOR USERS
(Public Law 109-59, 119 Stat. 1144)
SEC . 11142. NATIONAL SURFACE TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING COMMISSION.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT .—There is established a National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission (in this section referred to as the ‘‘Commission''). The Commission shall hold its first meeting within 90 days of the appointment of the eighth individual to be named to the Commission.
(b) FUNCTION .—
(1) IN GENERAL .—The Commission shall, with respect to the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending before 2016—
(A) make a thorough investigation and study of revenues flowing into the Highway Trust Fund under current law, including the individual components of the overall flow of such revenues;
(B) consider whether the amount of such revenues is likely to increase, decline, or remain unchanged, absent changes in the law, particularly by taking into account the impact of possible changes in public vehicular choice, fuel use, or travel alternatives that could be expected to reduce or increase revenues into the Highway Trust Fund;
(C) consider alternative approaches to generating revenues for the Highway Trust Fund, and the level of revenues that such alternatives would yield;
(D) consider highway and transit needs and whether additional revenues into the Highway Trust Fund, or other Federal revenues dedicated to highway and transit infrastructure, would be required in order to meet such needs;
(E) consider a program that would exempt all or a portion of gasoline or other motor fuels used in a State from the Federal excise tax on such gasoline or other motor fuels if such State elects not to receive all or a portion of Federal transportation funding, including—
(i) whether such State should be required to increase State gasoline or other motor fuels taxes by the amount of the decrease in the Federal excise tax on such gasoline or other motor fuels;
(ii) whether any Federal transportation funding should not be reduced or eliminated for States participating in such program; and
(iii) whether there are any compliance problems related to enforcement of Federal transportation related excise taxes under such program; and
(F) study such other matters closely related to the subjects described in the preceding subparagraphs as it may deem appropriate.
(2) PREPARATION OF REPORT .—Based on such investigation and study, the Commission shall develop a final report, with recommendations and the bases for those recommendations, indicating policies that should be adopted, or not adopted, to achieve various levels of annual revenue for the Highway Trust Fund and to enable the Highway Trust Fund to receive revenues sufficient to meet highway and transit needs. Such recommendations shall address, among other matters as the Commission may deem appropriate—
(A) what levels of revenue are required by the Federal Highway Trust Fund in order for it to meet needs to maintain and improve the condition and performance of the Nation's highway and transit systems;
(B) what levels of revenue are required by the Federal Highway Trust Fund in order to ensure that Federal levels of investment in highways and transit do not decline in real terms; and
(C) the extent, if any, to which the Highway Trust Fund should be augmented by other mechanisms or funds as a Federal means of financing highway and transit infrastructure investments.
(c) MEMBERSHIP .—
(1) A PPOINTMENT .—The Commission shall be composed of 15 members, appointed as follows:
(A) Seven members appointed by the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury.
(B) Two members appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives.
(C) Two members appointed by the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives.
(D) Two members appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate.
(E) Two members appointed by the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Finance of the Senate.
(2) QUALIFICATIONS .—Members appointed pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be appointed from among individuals knowledgeable in the fields of public transportation finance or highway and transit programs, policy, and needs, and may include representatives of interested parties, such as State and local governments or other public transportation authorities or agencies, representatives of the transportation construction industry (including suppliers of technology, machinery, and materials), transportation labor (including construction and providers), transportation providers, the financial community, and users of highway and transit systems.
(3) TERMS .—Members shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.
(4) VACANCIES .—A vacancy in the Commission shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.
(5) TRAVEL EXPENSES .—Members shall serve without pay but shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.
(6) CHAIRMAN .—The Chairman of the Commission shall be elected by the members.
(d) STAFF .—The Commission may appoint and fix the pay of such personnel as it considers appropriate.
(e) FUNDING .—Funding for the Commission shall be provided by the Secretary of the Treasury and by the Secretary of Transportation, out of funds available to those agencies for administrative and policy functions.
(f) STAFF OF FEDERAL AGENCIES .—Upon request of the Commission, the head of any department or agency of the United States may detail any of the personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to assist in carrying out its duties under this section.
(g) OBTAINING DATA .—The Commission may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States , information (other than information required by any law to be kept confidential by such department or agency) necessary for the Commission to carry out its duties under this section. Upon request of the Commission, the head of that department or agency shall furnish such nonconfidential information to the Commission. The Commission shall also gather evidence through such means as it may deem appropriate, including through holding hearings and soliciting comments by means of Federal Register notices.
(h) REPORT .—Not later than 2 years after the date of its first meeting, the Commission shall transmit its final report, including recommendations, to the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Finance of the Senate, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate, and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate.
(i) TERMINATION .—The Commission shall terminate on the 180th day following the date of transmittal of the report under subsection (h). All records and papers of the Commission shall thereupon be delivered to the Administrator of General Services for deposit in the National Archives.