By Keith Laing - 12/21/12 08:10 PM EST
Mica painted a much different picture of the committee before he took charge, when Democrats had control of both the panel and Congress as a whole.
“I became chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in January 2011 after efforts to reauthorize surface transportation and aviation programs had sputtered under Democrat leadership in Washington,” Mica said. “FAA legislation had been stalled for nearly four years and Democrats had passed 17 short-term extensions of the previous law. In addition, President Obama had torpedoed any plans for a multiyear bill for highway, bridge and transit improvements. This led to six more short-term extensions, killing major projects and long-term job creation.”
Mica said it was important for the panel to continue being active in the years ahead.
"America’s economy cannot improve without a safe and efficient transportation system," he said. "For the past two years, this committee focused on moving long-delayed legislation to improve our infrastructure and create jobs for Americans, cutting the red tape that holds up projects, and conducting strong oversight to help curtail Federal agency waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars."
Mica is being forced to give up control of the House Transportation Committee by term-limits set by Republicans when they assumed control of the lower chamber. Under the current House rules, lawmakers are prohibited from serving more than six years as ranking minority members or chairmen of legislative committees.
Mica had briefly sought a waiver to the term limits, such as the one that was given to House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) after Ryan's unsuccessful vice presidential bid. However, House leaders decided to limit term limit waivers to Ryan.
Mica has said that he plans to remain a member of the Transportation Committee after he gives up control of the panel in January.
The full GOP report on the Transportation Committee's activity under Mica can be read here.