Washington, DC - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Committee, issued the following statement regarding progress on surface transportation legislation.

Senator Boxer said: "Surface transportation legislation is finally getting the attention it needs and deserves. Congress must pass legislation that will rebuild the nation's crumbling infrastructure, boost the economy, and create jobs, and the only way to get the bill to the President's desk is through our bipartisan approach. Senator Inhofe and I remain committed to working together to pass this much-needed job creating legislation."

Senator Inhofe said: "I am pleased the House is taking this critical first step forward. The House and Senate bills both include unprecedented reforms of the existing highway program and are funded at very similar annual levels. The differences could be resolved in a bipartisan fashion during House-Senate conference. The bottom line is that we need to pass a transportation bill as soon as possible so that we can get our economy moving again."

Senator Boxer and Senator Inhofe worked together with their EPW Committee colleagues to develop a two-year surface transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which maintains funding at current levels. The bipartisan measure passed unanimously in the EPW Committee on November 9, 2011. Other Senate committees are expected to complete action on surface transportation legislation in the next week. The current transportation authorization expires on March 31, 2012.