"The bi-partisan extension we have introduced this afternoon will extend the current highway program for six months at fiscal year 2005 appropriated levels. It is better to extend the current program, than to be forced to accept a highway bill that will not meet the needs of the nation. It is unfortunate that we have been forced into this situation, but this extension is necessary to get us through the election cycle and beyond the politics that have ensnared this bill. Bowing to pressure from the White House, conferees are now trying to write a bill at $284 billion, well below the spending levels called for by US Department of Transportation needs analysis and sought by the entire transportation industry. This week, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the transportation leaders from the 50 states, called upon Congress to immediately pass a "well- funded, six-year reauthorization" of nation's transportation program. I agree with them and I will be working to get a six-year bill completed. The program expired nearly one year ago, and the states have been operating under series of short-term extensions. This has disrupted construction programs, delayed safety improvements and interrupted funding to transit operators. Despite diligent efforts to write a bill at $284 billion, conferees have yet to produce state-by-state funding formulas that satisfy the diverse needs of the 50 states. It is clear that a constrained funding level produces winners and losers, pitting state against state and region against region." Attached are letters of support for a six-month extension of the current transportation bill: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
U.S. Conference of Mayors
Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations