Senate proposes $109 billion, two-year transportation funding bill
California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer proposed on July 6 a two-year, $109 billion surface transportation bill — a four-year and several billion dollar difference from that of the House Republicans proposal made that same day.
The House version of the bill, proposed by Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Chair John Mica (R-Fla.) calls for $35 billion a year in spending throughout six years.
Mica told Bloomberg Business Week that the Senate proposal will put the nation on course to bankrupt the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). “A two-year bill is a recipe for bankrupting the trust fund,” Mica said in the Bloomberg report.
However, Boxer, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has argued that the United States spends $12 billion a month in Iraq and Afghanistan. “All we are looking for here is $12 billion over two years,” Boxer said in the Bloomberg report.
For a blog post that discusses the proposal, click here. (http://transportation.nationaljournal.com/2011/07/micas-bill-stability-or-road-t.php)
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), almost 500,000 jobs would be lost across the country if Congress were to act on the House passed budget plan and impose significant cuts to our transportation programs, Boxer points out. (For a downloadable PDF of “State-by-State Impacts to Cuts in Highway Infrastructure Investment,” click here.)
In a prepared remarks delivered on July 7, Boxer decried the House’s proposal.
Boxer’s remarks from the press conference, as prepared for delivery, follow:
“We are at a critical moment today when it comes to our nation’s infrastructure. I am here to shine a light on what is at stake for our nation’s economy and American families.
The current surface transportation bill expires on September 30, and Congress must decide in the coming days which path to choose: protect jobs and put people to work, or throw hundreds of thousands of people out of work in a sector that has suffered enormously during the recession.
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