The Center for Public Integrity began working on this project late in the spring after the second of two bipartisan commissions released its report on the future of America’s federal transportation policy. That transportation system, according to the first commission’s report, has been stuck “pursuing no discernible national interests” other than “political imperatives.”
“The American people can no longer tolerate more ‘business as usual’ in the surface transportation arena,’” the commission strongly stated.
Experts from across the political spectrum agree that the nation needs to take bold action in passing a robust transportation bill. But the prospects for that continue to stand at risk of being weighed down by congressional earmarking, a lack of well-defined goals, and the individual needs of hundreds of interests nationwide.
In June, Center reporters Matthew Lewis and Aaron Mehta began analyzing thousands of lobbying disclosure forms through the Senate Office of Public Records to discover as many public and private interests as possible that are lobbying on the reauthorization of America’s transportation policy, the current iteration of which is set to expire on October 1.
In addition, our reporters conducted dozens of interviews, attended transportation conferences in three states, and completed an exhaustive literature search of congressional hearings, scholarly reports, and government records.