The week ahead: GOP targets Amtrak, TSA as Congress returns to DC

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House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) has frequently called for privatizing rail service in Amtrak’s  most profitable corridor, the northeast U.S.

Prior to the congressional recess, Mica sharply criticized Amtrak for the cost of its onboard concession program, including a memorable trip to a McDonald’s near Capitol Hill to demonstrate that fast-food burgers cost less than Amtrak's.

The committee will also meet Wednesday to review the Federal Aviation Administration’s plans for converting the aviation navigation system from World War II-era radar technology to a satellite-based system known as NextGen.

The new system is projected to cost the FAA about $22 billion through 2025, but Republicans in the House have argued that the agency should better manage its resources to help fund the switch.

Additionally, the House Transportation Committee’s Highways and Transit subcommittee will hold a hearing Thursday to review the Department of Transportation’s truck and bus safety programs.

Also this week, the House Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee on Transportation Security will meet on Tuesday to evaluate whether the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) can “evolve to meet the next terrorist threat” on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.