WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called on the House of Representatives to take up and pass the Senate's bipartisan surface transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).

At a press conference held this morning on Capitol Hill, Senator Boxer and Secretary LaHood were joined by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Mark Begich (D-AK) to urge House Leadership to drop a proposed short-term extension and instead pass the Senate's bipartisan legislation, which will save 1.9 million jobs and up to an additional one million jobs by leveraging federal funding.

Senator Boxer said: "Instead of passing our two-year bill, the House is considering a short-term stop gap measure, which would be disruptive and create uncertainty and instability for construction contracting. And it is happening at the worst possible time - the beginning of the spring construction season. The House has a clear path, and that is to pass the bipartisan Senate bill, MAP-21. I encourage House Republican leadership to work with their Democratic colleagues to get the job done."

Secretary LaHood said: "I'm thrilled that Senator Boxer and Senator Inhofe worked together to pass a bipartisan transportation bill that will put millions of Americans back to work repairing our aging transportation infrastructure," said Secretary LaHood. "If the House follows their lead, we can relieve congestion on our roads, maintain our transit and rails systems, and provide Americans with safe, affordable ways to reach their destinations when gas prices are high."

Also today, three senior Members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressmen Tim Bishop (D-NY), Committee Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV), and Peter DeFazio (D-OR), introduced MAP-21 (H.R. 14) in the House with more than 80 cosponsors.

A chart showing how many of the 2.9 million jobs will be saved or created in every state is available at http://www.dpcc.senate.gov/?p=blog&id=133. A link to video of the press conference can be found here.