WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee held a press conference to highlight the urgent need to protect 3 million transportation-related jobs. Senator Boxer discussed the millions of jobs that are at risk due to severe funding shortfalls projected after the expiration of the transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), in September 2014. Senator Boxer was joined at the event by representatives from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the National Construction Alliance II (NCA II).

WATCH the video from today's press event.

Senator Boxer's remarks from the press conference (as prepared for delivery) are below:

We are here to tell you about a crisis our nation is facing when the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) expires in September 2014, and the Highway Trust Fund is expected to experience a severe shortfall.

This shortfall would jeopardize nearly 3 million jobs nationwide, including jobs supported by the enhanced Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program. Simply put, the economy of our nation is at stake.

Today, we are sounding a wakeup call, because the country's economy, transportation systems, and construction industry are at stake. I am joined today by business, transportation, and labor leaders who will tell us why Congress must act.

This problem must be addressed in this Congress. A strong transportation system is vital to ensuring our nation's economic competitiveness, and this requires maintaining federal investments in our infrastructure. Our needs are only going to grow, because you cannot have a world class economy unless you can move goods and people efficiently and safely.

There is a lot of divisiveness in Washington, but we proved that when we put our minds to it, we can work together on infrastructure. Roads and bridges are neither Democratic nor Republican, and we passed MAP-21 last year with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

Today I am calling on my colleagues to work together to solve this crisis as we seek to move forward in a bipartisan way to protect 3 million jobs.