In 1991, working with my House counterpart Robert A. Roe of New Jersey, Chairman of the Public Works Committee, we crafted legislation that addressed this nation's imbalance in transportation investment in favor of an intermodal, economically-efficient, and environmentally-sensitive approach. ISTEA also included a provision to pay New York, New Jersey and other states back for their contributions to the interstate system. ISTEA was the most important transportation bill since President Eisenhower's Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956.
I thank my colleagues, Senators Chafee, Lautenberg, and Lieberman, for their advocacy of ISTEA, and Senators Baucus, Warner, Bond, Kempthorne, Reid, and Inhofe, who have publicly stated their support for its principles. This Subcommittee has held field hearings in Coeur d'Alene, Kansas City, and Las Vegas. This is, essentially, our first opportunity to hear from the 60 percent of the nation's population living east of the Mississippi. I look forward to the testimony.