WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) voted in support of S. 496, which would repeal the Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and Planning Area Reform rule that was issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). With the bill’s enactment, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District would no longer face the prospect of losing community-level input about decisions regarding state and local transportation plans and future resource disbursements.

"I am pleased to support this legislation and maintain local control over our regional infrastructure decisions by preventing the short-sighted MPO rule from going into effect," Dent said. "This rule would have restricted economic competitiveness by making it more difficult for regions to coordinate and implement planning decisions that best fit local communities, including those here in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District."

The rule put forward by the FHWA and FTA in December 2016 would have Required those MPOs representing communities within a larger Metropolitan Area—which could include entities in other states and cities with interests that compete with those of Pennsylvania’s drivers and residents—to develop a single set of transportation plans and standards. Representative Dent has long expressed reservations with the FHWA and FTA’s rule and its negative effects on the MPOs in his district. Last August, he penned a letter to former U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary, the Honorable Anthony Foxx, addressing his specific concerns, and he was a cosponsor of the House version of the bill that was voted on today.

"The MPOs in my district have universally expressed their objections to this rule," Dent added. "Their current structure has been a successfully coordinated approach to address regional issues that cross jurisdictional boundaries without the compulsion of a one-size-doesn’t-fit-all-approach imposed by the FHWA and FTA. I’m pleased to see my House colleagues from both sides of the aisle agree with my concerns about this rule, and applaud the support demonstrated today for keeping local infrastructure decisions in the hands of constituents that live in the region."

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Representative Dent's letter addressed to former Secretary Anthony Foxx can be found here.

CONTACT: Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490