Washington, D.C. -- Tonight, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, spoke on the Senate floor in opposition to controversial non-germane amendments to the surface transportation bill, as well as other procedural tactics led by Republican Senators that have delayed consideration of S. 1813, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).

Senator Boxer entered into the record a letter sent today to all Members of the Senate in opposition to non-germane amendments, which was signed by a wide range of groups from AAA to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Below are excerpts from Senator Boxer's floor speech.

"I rise because I want to point out to the people of this country who may be watching this proceeding that what's happened here tonight on the Senate floor is just ridiculous.

"We're supposed to be on a highway bill, a bill that will protect 1.8 million jobs and create an additional million jobs. So 2.8 million jobs are hanging in the balance. I don't know who they think they're helping, but it isn't the American people.

"We're trying to get out of this recession. This is a jobs bill that's just waiting to happen. We have myself and Senator Inhofe as partners in this effort. We want to get to this highway bill.

"Listen, we have to put aside these wedge issues, these ‘gotcha' issues. We have business after business after business that is struggling. This is a bipartisan bill. This will save 1.8 million jobs and create an additional million jobs.

"If we don't pass a highway bill -- and, Madam President, the authorization ends at the end of March -- I'm going to be blunt with you here. What's going to happen? Our states are going to start shutting down these projects, and people will be unemployed, and we'll see a reversal in this very delicate economic recovery.

"This is a critical bill, and I'm going to be on this floor every single day, and I'm going to be going on my Facebook, and I'm going to be going on Twitter and going on TV and radio and everywhere. Why? To say a very simple thing to my colleagues: Get out of the way of this jobs bill. Get out of the way. All of America supports it from the left to the right to the center and everything in between."