Marc Morano 202-224-5762
Matt Dempsey 202-224-9797
Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Highway Technical Corrections Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, welcomed the Senate’s overwhelming passage of the Highway Technical Corrections Bill, HR 1195 by a vote of 88-2. The bill now goes back to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
“Meeting the transportation needs of our country is one of the most important responsibilities of the federal government,” Senator Inhofe said. “In 2005, President Bush signed into law the highway bill that went a long way to ensuring that our nation has a safe, modern national transportation infrastructure system, one that is vital for economic growth. The legislation we passed today with overwhelming bi-partisan support includes recommended technical changes to the 2005 highway bill from the Department of Transportation that address the functional problems in implementing the bill.
“The 2005 highway bill was a historic victory for Oklahoma. I am grateful to have worked with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to make three small, but necessary, corrections to the highway bill for Oklahoma. Doing so will now allow these projects to get underway as soon as possible.
“As the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I congratulate my colleagues on the EPW Committee for coming together once again to pass important transportation legislation. It is my hope that this tradition of working closely together will continue as we set our sights on the next highway bill, scheduled to be reauthorized in 2009."
The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act signed into law August 10, 2005, authorized $286.5 billion in transportation infrastructure spending for fiscal years 2005 to 2009. As one of the largest non-Defense discretionary bills to move through Congress, it is not unusual to revisit a bill after the fact to make technical corrections to address problems in implementation, misidentified project authorizations, and minor drafting errors. Included in this bill are recommended technical changes from the Department of Transportation that address the functional problems in implementing the bill; technical changes to SAFETEA projects which will continue to be delayed from breaking ground due to simple drafting errors in their description. Furthermore, without passage of the technical corrections bill, universities and other transportation research will not receive their fully intended funding, and states will be unable to use millions of dollars of transportation funds that were authorized 3 years ago.