Washington, DC - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement in response to the Senate's passage of H.R. 662, the Surface Transportation Act of 2011, which extends surface transportation programs under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) through the end of FY 2011. The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 662 yesterday with a vote of 421 to 4. The bill will now go to the President for his signature.
Senator Boxer said: "I am so pleased that both the Senate and House have passed this legislation. With the construction season upon us, this extension is especially important because it will give states the certainty they need to award contracts and get projects underway. This will help ensure that jobs are saved and created in California and across the country. I am continuing to work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle on a new surface transportation bill for the 21st Century. Our goal is to get this legislation enacted by the end of this year."
According to the Department of Transportation (DOT) every $1 billion in Federal money for transportation that is matched by state and local funds creates or saves approximately 34,700 jobs. The construction industry has been especially hard hit by the economic downturn, losing 130,000 jobs in the past year. Today there are nearly 2 million unemployed construction workers in the United States. This legislation will save and create jobs in the construction industry and help get the economy back on track.