Who is new House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica?

National Bike Summit - Day two-56
Rep. John Mica at a BikePAC fundraiser
during the 2009 National Bike Summit.
(Photo © J. Maus)

With Democrats no longer controlling the House, Representative John Mica (R-FL) will most likely replace Jim Oberstar as Chair of the all-important Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. But just who is John Mica? I look forward to reporting on and learning more about him in the coming months, but for now, we’ve got two clues.

First, a statement he just released via the official House website says in part,

“… Among my top legislative priorities will be passing a long-term federal highways and transit reauthorization, a long-overdue Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, a new water resources measure, and a long-term Coast Guard reauthorization.

I will also focus on major initiatives to find ways within the Committee’s jurisdiction to save taxpayer dollars. That includes better management and utilization of federal assets, including real property, and more efficient, cost effective passenger rail transportation, including a better directed high-speed rail program.”

I also recall meeting Rep. Mica at a fundraiser during the 2009 National Bike Summit. Here’s what I reported following that event:

“The last member of Congress to make it to the party last night was Rep. John Mica from Florida… He shared candidly that, while he and Rep. Earl Blumenauer “have our disagreements from time to time,” he is supportive of biking. Mica boasted that Florida leads the nation in rail-trails and then said in a self-deprecating tone, “That’s pretty good for a right-wing, knuckle-dragging conservative.” On that note, Mica said that as a Republican he has to support biking “quietly”. “I did a path over an interstate years ago,” he said, and then began to smile, “but we didn’t send out a press release on it.””

He won’t have to do anything “quietly” anymore. But the question remains… to what extent will he support bicycling?

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