Washington, D.C. -- Senator Barbara Boxer, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the statement below urging Republican leadership to immediately turn to a long-term surface transportation bill that will support millions of jobs instead of the Keystone tar sands pipeline bill.

Senator Boxer said: "There is a growing chorus from states in recent months that the Highway Trust Fund is in serious trouble and much-needed transportation projects are in peril. Arkansas and Tennessee have already delayed or canceled construction projects due to the uncertainty in federal transportation funding, and other states are considering similar action as the construction season fast approaches. I again call on Republican leadership to immediately drop the Keystone tar sands pipeline bill, which would create only 35 permanent jobs, and instead turn to a long-term transportation bill that will support millions of jobs and restore certainty for state and local governments and the construction industry."

The law that currently authorizes surface transportation programs is set to expire on May 31st. The Highway Trust Fund, which provides funding to states and local governments to maintain and improve their roads, bridges, and transit systems is also projected to become insolvent around the same time, meaning that billions of dollars in transportation funding to the states will be delayed or stopped right as the summer construction season begins.

State transportation agencies in Arkansas and Tennessee put out announcements on the construction delays and cancellations. News reports indicate that the National Governor Association's Chair, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D) and Vice-chairman, Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R), as well as North Carolina's Transportation Secretary, Anthony Tata, have also voiced similar concerns over the damaging impact of the funding uncertainty.