Washington, DC – U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), ranking member of Senate EPW, received a copy of a letter yesterday from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, along with over 100 other mayors from 39 states, touting their support for a long-term, robustly-funded surface transportation reauthorization bill:
“As mayors from all corners of the nation, we urge you to significantly increase transit, highway and safety program commitments to cities and their regions, and provide six years of funding certainty in the MAP-21 surface transportation reauthorization. America’s economic strength depends upon our cities, towns, and suburbs having the transportation networks they need to attract and retain businesses and provide opportunities for residents to prosper,” the Mayors said in the letter.
“This is not a partisan issue. Deficient bridges exist in red and blue districts all across this country. Many city and state leaders, Democrats and Republicans, are already stepping up and committing more local funds. However, without a strong federal partner, the twin demands of maintaining existing infrastructure and preparing for the future are beyond the means of any city,” the Mayors continued.
The Mayors concluded the letter asking for action, “We urge you to make significant progress on this effort in a timely manner. Without it, we risk reducing national productivity and competitiveness relative to our global competitors. Congestion costs the U.S. economy over $120 billion each year. Since the last long-term surface transportation bill was enacted in 2005, the economic competitiveness of U.S. transportation infrastructure has fallen from first in the world to 12th. If the status quo continues, deficient transportation infrastructure will cost American businesses $430 billion by 2020.”
On June 24, the Senate EPW Committee passed the DRIVE Act (S.1647) out of committee unanimously. On July 21, the DRIVE Act that incorporates the four committees of jurisdiction, including EPW, Commerce, Banking, Homeland Security/Government Affairs and Finance, was reported to the Senate floor. Text of the legislation can be found here.
To read the full text of the letter, click here.