Today, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously approved S.2322, the MAP-21 Reauthorization Act, a long-term bipartisan bill to reauthorize the nation's transportation programs for six years at current funding plus inflation, illustrating broad bipartisan support for passage by the full Senate. The legislation is cosponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Committee, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee.
Senator Vitter said: "It's important to improve our nation's roads and bridges and help provide traffic relief, so we can carry out on daily routine, like picking up the kids from practice. Our nation's infrastructure needs attention and updates. Today's vote in the EPW Committee is a testament to the overwhelming bipartisan support of this urgently needed legislation. I'll be making sure that traffic relief is a top priority as we work through the legislation."
Senator Boxer said: "Today's passage sends a powerful signal to our colleagues and to our nation that we are serious about addressing the looming funding crisis in the Highway Trust Fund. I am proud of this strong, bipartisan bill that helps provide the certainty that all of our states and cities need to move forward with critical infrastructure and transportation projects. Thanks to all of our Members for their work on this job-creating legislation."
Senator Carper said: "Today the Environment and Public Works Committee took an important step forward on the way to passing a long-term transportation bill. I thank Chairman Boxer and Ranking Member Vitter for leading a thoughtful and bipartisan process as this committee drafted and reported out this critical piece of the legislation. I understand that the other Senate committees with jurisdiction on the transportation package are also working diligently on their respective pieces of the bill. This is particularly important for those of us who also serve on the Senate Finance Committee. We need to work in a similar bipartisan fashion to quickly come to agreement on a fiscally responsible way to fund these crucial investments in our nation's infrastructure."
Senator Barrasso said: "Today, we made more progress in advancing legislation that will help ensure Americans continue to have a safe and working transportation system. This bill fulfills my top priorities: it's fiscally responsible and it provides new flexibility and equity for rural states like Wyoming. I'll remain focused on protecting taxpayer dollars and responding to the needs of rural Americans who rely on federal highways every day."
The legislation builds on the success of the comprehensive reforms and performance-based approach to transportation investment in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). It provides long-term funding, giving state and local governments the certainty and stability they need to improve and develop our nation's transportation infrastructure. These investments will create new jobs, provide a boost to the economy, and keep us competitive in the global marketplace. MAP-21 expires on September 30, and the Highway Trust Fund is projected to run out of funds this summer.
S. 2322 will now go to the full Senate for consideration, where it will be combined with measures from the Senate Committee on Finance, Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.