March 6, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 40 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 40
(Senate - March 06, 2019)
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[Pages S1707-S1710] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS By Mr. CARPER: S. 674. A bill to amend title 23, United States Code, to establish a grant program for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure along the National Highway System, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record. There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, Today I am introducing the ``Clean Corridors Act of 2019.'' This legislation authorizes $3 billion in grant funding to public entities for installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure along designated corridors. Earlier this week, Chairman Barrasso and I sent a letter to the full Senate requesting Senators' priorities for a surface transportation bill reauthorization this Congress. The surface transportation bill is the primary authorizing legislation for the programs of the Federal Highway Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation, among other programs related to surface transportation. As the Ranking Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, this legislation is a reauthorization priority of my own. Nearly two years ago, the Rocky Mountain Institute published a report that said re-installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure should be, quote, an ``urgent priority in all states and major municipalities. Getting it right will require unprecedented cooperation by many stakeholder groups. The time to act is now.'' I agree. This legislation would provide grants for the installment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure along the National Highway System. This bill is the product of remarkable collaboration between stakeholders, and it will take us one step forward in reducing emissions, improving air quality, and enhancing energy security and fuel choice. This legislation is endorsed by stakeholders from across the electric vehicle supply chain, including the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Electric Drive Transportation Association, Edison Electric Institute, Auto Alliance, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the American Highway Users Alliance. As I have stated before, the threat of climate change is greater than any one state, or region or country--we all have to do our part, and the federal government has a leadership role to play. By deploying necessary electric and fuel cell vehicle charging infrastructure, and supporting growth of these needed technologies, doing so will help us lower the rate of emissions of carbon into our atmosphere. Even better yet, this legislation will help us in our efforts to put the United States back in the driver's seat of the world's clean energy economy, while creating green manufacturing jobs here at home. This legislation is a true win-win for our environment and our economy, and it is my hope that the Senate will support this legislation and that it will be enacted this Congress. S. 674 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Clean Corridors Act of 2019''. SEC. 2. GRANTS FOR CHARGING AND FUELING INFRASTRUCTURE TO MODERNIZE AND RECONNECT AMERICA FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. (a) Purpose; Findings.-- (1) Purpose.--The purpose of this section is to establish a grant program to strategically deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors that will be accessible to all drivers of zero emission vehicles. (2) Findings.--Congress finds that-- (A) greater adoption of zero emission vehicles will help-- (i) reduce emissions and improve air quality; (ii) enhance the energy security of the United States by expanding the use of zero emission fuels; (iii) enhance fuel choice and utilization of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure in order to benefit consumers; (iv) ensure that the transportation infrastructure of the United States is equipped to manage the demands and anticipated future needs of the economy; and (v) develop a new economic sector in the United States that will create middle class jobs; [[Page S1708]] (B) consumer and business adoption of zero emission vehicles depends in part on the availability of reliable and convenient fueling and charging infrastructure; (C) electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure must be strategically deployed to ensure the deployment and adoption of zero emission fuels; and (D) infrastructure owners and operators should prepare to meet the charging and fueling needs of electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles. (b) Grant Program.--Section 151 of title 23, United States Code, is amended-- (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the FAST Act, the Secretary shall'' and inserting ``The Secretary shall periodically''; (2) in subsection (b)(2), by inserting ``previously designated by the Federal Highway Administration or'' before ``designated by''; (3) in subsection (d)-- (A) by striking ``5 years after the date of establishment of the corridors under subsection (a), and every 5 years thereafter,'' and inserting ``180 days after the date of enactment of the Clean Corridors Act of 2019,''; and (B) by inserting ``establish a recurring process to regularly'' before ``update''; (4) in subsection (e)-- (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``and'' at the end; (B) in paragraph (2)-- (i) by striking ``establishes an aspirational goal of achieving'' and inserting ``describes efforts, including through funds awarded through the grant program under subsection (f), that will aid efforts to achieve''; and (ii) by striking ``by the end of fiscal year 2020.'' and inserting ``; and''; and (C) by adding at the end the following: ``(3) summarizes best practices and provides guidance, developed through consultation with the Secretary of Energy, for project development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure at the State, Tribal, and local level to allow for the predictable deployment of that infrastructure.''; and (5) by adding at the end the following: ``(f) Grant Program.-- ``(1) Establishment.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Clean Corridors Act of 2019, the Secretary shall establish a grant program to award grants to eligible entities to carry out the activities described in paragraph (5). ``(2) Eligible entities.--An entity eligible to receive a grant under this subsection is-- ``(A) a State or political subdivision of a State; ``(B) a metropolitan planning organization; ``(C) a unit of local government; ``(D) a special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, including a port authority; ``(E) an Indian tribe (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304)); ``(F) an authority, agency, or instrumentality of, or an entity owned by, 1 or more entities described in subparagraphs (A) through (E); or ``(G) a group of entities described in subparagraphs (A) through (F). ``(3) Applications.--To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, an eligible entity shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary shall require, including a description of how the eligible entity has considered-- ``(A) public accessibility of charging or fueling infrastructure proposed to be funded with a grant under this subsection, including-- ``(i) charging or fueling connector types and publicly available information on real-time availability; and ``(ii) payment methods to ensure secure, convenient, fair, and equal access; ``(B) collaborative engagement with stakeholders (including automobile manufacturers, utilities, infrastructure providers, technology providers, zero emission fuel providers, metropolitan planning organizations, States, Indian tribes, and units of local governments, fleet owners, fleet managers, fuel station owners and operators, labor organizations, infrastructure construction and component parts suppliers, and multi-State and regional entities)-- ``(i) to foster enhanced, coordinated, public-private or private investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure; ``(ii) to expand deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure; ``(iii) to protect personal privacy and ensure cybersecurity; and ``(iv) to ensure that a properly trained workforce is available to construct and install electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure; ``(C) the location of the station or fueling site, such as consideration of-- ``(i) the availability of onsite amenities for vehicle operators, such as restrooms or food facilities; ``(ii) access in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.); and ``(iii) height and fueling capacity requirements for facilities that charge or refuel large vehicles, such as semi-trailer trucks; ``(D) infrastructure installation that can be responsive to technology advancements, such as accommodating autonomous vehicles and future charging methods; and ``(E) the long-term operation and maintenance of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure, to avoid stranded assets and protect the investment of public funds in that infrastructure. ``(4) Considerations.--In selecting eligible entities to receive a grant under this subsection, the Secretary shall consider the extent to which the application of the eligible entity would-- ``(A) improve alternative fueling corridor networks by-- ``(i) converting corridor-pending corridors to corridor- ready corridors; or ``(ii) in the case of corridor-ready corridors, providing redundancy-- ``(I) to meet excess demand for charging and fueling infrastructure; or ``(II) to reduce congestion at existing charging and fueling infrastructure in high-traffic locations; ``(B) meet current or anticipated market demands for charging or fueling infrastructure; ``(C) enable or accelerate the construction of charging or fueling infrastructure that would be unlikely to be completed without Federal assistance; and ``(D) support a long-term competitive market for electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. ``(5) Use of funds.-- ``(A) In general.--An eligible entity receiving a grant under this subsection shall only use the funds to contract with a private entity for acquisition and installation of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure that is directly related to the charging or fueling of a vehicle in accordance with this paragraph. ``(B) Location of infrastructure.--Any electric vehicle charging infrastructure or hydrogen fueling infrastructure acquired and installed with a grant under this subsection shall be located along an alternative fuel corridor designated-- ``(i) under this section, on the condition that any affected Indian tribes are consulted before the designation; or ``(ii) by a State or group of States, such as the Regional Electric Vehicle West Plan of the States of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, on the condition that any affected Indian tribes are consulted before the designation. ``(C) Operating assistance.-- ``(i) In general.--Subject to clauses (ii) and (iii), an eligible entity that receives a grant under this subsection may use a portion of the funds to provide to a private entity operating assistance for the first 5 years of operations after the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure while the facility transitions to independent system operations. ``(ii) Inclusions.--Operating assistance under this subparagraph shall be limited to costs allocable to operating and maintaining the electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure and service, including costs associated with labor, marketing, and administrative costs. ``(iii) Limitation.--Operating assistance under this subparagraph may not exceed the amount of a contract under subparagraph (A) to acquire and install publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. ``(D) Signs.-- ``(i) In general.--Subject to this paragraph and paragraph (6)(B), an eligible entity that receives a grant under this subsection may use a portion of the funds to acquire and install-- ``(I) traffic control devices located in the right-of-way to provide directional information to electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure acquired, installed, or operated with the grant; and ``(II) on-premises signs to provide information about electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure acquired, installed, or operated with a grant under this subsection. ``(ii) Applicability.--Clause (i) shall apply only to an eligible entity that-- ``(I) receives a grant under this subsection; and ``(II) is using that grant for the acquisition and installation of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. ``(iii) Limitation on amount.--The amount of funds used to acquire and install traffic control devices and on-premises signs under clause (i) may not exceed the amount of a contract under subparagraph (A) to acquire and install publicly accessible charging or fueling infrastructure. ``(iv) No new authority created.--Nothing in this subparagraph authorizes an eligible entity that receives a grant under this subsection to acquire and install traffic control devices or on-premises signs if the entity is not otherwise authorized to do so. ``(6) Project requirements.-- ``(A) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any project funded by a grant under this subsection shall be treated as a project on a Federal-aid highway under this chapter. ``(B) Signs.--Any traffic control device or on-premises sign acquired, installed, or operated with a grant under this subsection shall comply with-- ``(i) the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, if located in the right-of-way; and [[Page S1709]] ``(ii) other provisions of Federal, State, and local law, as applicable. ``(7) Federal share.--The Federal share of the cost of a project carried out with a grant under this subsection shall not exceed 80 percent of the total project cost. ``(8) Funding.--There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $300,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2028.''. ______ By Mr. CARDIN: S. 686. A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide greater access to higher education for America's students, to eliminate educational barriers for participation in a public service career, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, today, I am introducing the Strengthening American Communities (SAC) Act of 2019. My bill seeks to expand access to debt-free public service career pathways for Americans who want to serve their communities, States, or our Nation. No one should be denied the opportunity to serve their community as a law enforcement officer, public health practitioner, social worker, or educator based on his or her ability to afford the rising cost of an undergraduate education. As Congress moves towards reauthorizing the Higher Education Act this year, I intend for my bill to be a first step towards correcting public sector workforce disparities by enabling people to serve their communities without being hobbled by massive student loan debt, and by providing current public servants with the financial freedom to continue to heed their calling to service. Every city, town, and rural community in the United States relies on individuals who choose to utilize their talents for the betterment of others while accepting the lower pay of public service careers. The very foundation of our civil society is based on these public servants making such sacrifices. Far too many individuals who feel drawn to public service do not pursue such careers--or they are forced to abandon such careers prematurely--due to the high cost of obtaining their college educations. When I had the opportunity to hear directly from a student at an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in my home State of Maryland, I was saddened to hear from an academically successful sophomore who was planning to drop out of school because she feared further indebting herself and her family. She said that while she appreciated the financial assistance she did receive, it simply wasn't sufficient to cover her cost of attendance. While this student had aspirations to serve in her own community, she could not bear to burden her family with the cost of her education. As a result, my home City of Baltimore missed out on the talents of an engaged and aspiring public servant. Our current system of indebting individuals at the onset of their careers has led to minority underrepresentation in the public sector workforce. First generation college students and students from low- income families cannot afford to take on student loan debt and enter into lower-paying public service careers. As a result, our Nation is deprived of the talents and perspectives of individuals who want to serve their communities but simply cannot afford to do so. As a result, our workforce is less representative of the people it serves. We must find new ways for people to earn the degrees they need to meet our community needs. I believe that students who make a commitment to public service should be afforded a debt-free pathway to the baccalaureate degree they need to start their public service career just as those individuals who have already made the decision to choose service over salary should not have to wait for ten years in a lower- paying public service career before seeing any reward in the form of federal student loan forgiveness. The Strengthening American Communities Act I am introducing today offers a new path for future public servants to earn their baccalaureate degree. Through a new partnership between the Federal Government, States, and public and private, non-profit institutions of higher education, students will have the ability to receive the first two years of their education at a community college, Minority Serving Institution, or Historically Black College or University tuition- and fee-free. Colleges would be required to commit to ensuring student success, and students would have to meet certain academic standards and complete their education within two years. Once students start their junior or senior years or transfer into a four-year institution, those who commit themselves to at least three years of public service and meet certain academic standards will receive a National Public Service Education Grant to pay a significant portion of their college's tuition, fees, and room and board costs. Universities must provide students with opportunities to engage in public service commitments, academic counseling and student support services, and the opportunity to earn to finish their degree in fewer than two years. Depending on a student's financial need, under the Strengthening American Communities Act, they may be able to graduate with a baccalaureate degree debt-free before embarking on their chosen path to become a public servant. For those individuals who have already answered their calling to public service, my legislation would assist more public servants continue serving their communities by accelerating the existing Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Under current law, these dedicated workers must work for 10 years in a public service career and make 120 monthly payments on their federal student loans before they see a dime of federal student loan forgiveness. Economic, family, and other reasons can cause individuals to leave the public sector workforce and despite their years of service, the service these workers provided are not taken into consideration. I propose to accelerate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to provide more immediate student loan relief. For every two years of employment and corresponding monthly Federal student loan payments, hard-working public sector employees will receive a percentage of their federal student loans forgiven, with 100 percent of the federal student loan balance being forgiven at the end of 10 years of service. With 99 percent of the initial round of PSLF applicants being rejected last year for loan forgiveness due to administrative barriers and misunderstanding of the rules of the program, Congress should work to accelerating Public Service Loan Forgiveness, therefore encouraging additional individuals to stay in the public sector workforce despite the lower-paying salaries, reduce their cost of borrowing for home and auto loans, and set aside additional money for their own retirement. As Congress moves forward with an overdue reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, I urge my colleagues to join in this effort to help individuals who are wholly committed to public service by supporting the Strengthening American Communities Act. No individual willing to serve his or her community in a public service career should be held back from that calling due to the high cost of obtaining a college education. No individual willing to serve his or her community should be forced to leave public service because of financial hardship. ______ By Mr. KAINE (for himself and Mr. Young): S.J. Res. 13. A joint resolution to repeal the authorizations for use of military force against Iraq, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Mr. KAINE. Mr. President. I am pleased today to introduce in the Senate, with my colleague Senator Young, a bipartisan resolution to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq. This legislation will formally end the authorizations for the Gulf and Iraq wars--28 and 17 years, respectively, after these AUMFs were first passed, reasserting Congress' vital role in not only declaring wars, but in ending them. The repeal of these authorizations also recognizes the strong partnership the United States now has with a sovereign, democratic Iraq. The United States is no longer at war with Iraq and our legal frameworks should reflect this reality as much as our policy frameworks, to include the Strategic Framework Agreement that Iraq and the United States signed in November 2008, which affirms the establishment of a long-term relationship of cooperation and friendship, based on the principle of equality in [[Page S1710]] sovereignty and the rights and principles that are enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Since 2014, U.S. troops have been in Iraq, alongside Iraqi forces, at the Government of Iraq's request for assistance in combating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Current Administration officials, including Secretary Pompeo, Acting Secretary Shanahan and Commander of the United States Central Command, General Votel, have routinely emphasized that United States military forces remain in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq and in respect to its sovereignty. Recent presidential administrations have maintained that the 2002 AUMF only serves to ``reinforce'' any legal authority to combat ISIS provided by the 2001 AUMF and is not independently required to authorize any such activities. As such, repealing the 1991 AUMF and the 2002 AUMF would not affect ongoing United States military operations. It would however, prevent the future misuse of the Gulf and Iraq War authorizations and strengthen Congressional oversight over war powers. It is past time to repeal both AUMFs and formally mark the end of the Iraq War that resulted in a devastating loss of life and wounded tens of thousands of our troops. It makes no sense that two AUMFs remain in place against a country that is now a close ally. They serve no operational purpose, run the risk of future abuse by the President, and help keep our nation at permanent war. I am proud to join Senator Young in introducing a bill to repeal these outdated and unnecessary authorizations. I hope we can continue to find bipartisan compromise on these tough war power issues to include revising and replacing the 2001 AUMF. ____________________