Washington, D.C. - Today, the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) unanimously approved the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, which funds highway programs at current levels through January 31, 2012. SAFETEA-LU, which is the existing surface transportation authorization legislation, expires on September 30th. After the Committee markup, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), EPW Chairman, issued the following statement:

Senator Boxer said: "I am very pleased with the unanimous vote today. I look forward to early action on the Senate floor. The EPW Committee has shown it can work together so that we can put people to work rebuilding the infrastructure of our nation."

Last week, Senator Boxer and Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), Chairman of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, released numbers from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), which showed that 1.8 million jobs will be threatened nationwide unless Congress passes legislation to extend SAFETEA-LU.

The Senate is continuing to work on a bipartisan proposal, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), that will reauthorize transportation programs at current funding levels for two years. In July, Senator Boxer and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), EPW Ranking Member, released an outline for MAP-21, which modernizes and reforms the nation's transportation systems to help create jobs and build the foundation for long-term prosperity.