WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, called upon conferees on the House/Senate Conference Committee on the Safe Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA) – also known as the highway bill – to consider a proposal to bridge the gap between House and Senate numbers during a meeting of the conference this morning. Inhofe, Chairman of the conference committee, made the following statement this afternoon:

“I believe that time is running out and that a number for this critical bill must be agreed upon as soon as possible. Today I made a reasonable offer to bridge the gap between House and Senate conferees. While this number of $289 billion in guaranteed funding and $301 billion for contract authority was too high for some and too low for others, it represents less than one percent of difference between each side. We have worked long and hard in a truly bipartisan fashion to create a six-year transportation bill that is good for our economy, will create millions of jobs, fight traffic congestion, and improve the safety of our nation’s roads and bridges. I am hopefully that members from both sides of the aisle and both houses of Congress will take a close look at this proposal and will be able to move forward at our next meeting on Thursday.”