WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today hailed the decision by Congress to fully fund the highway and transit funding program levels outlined in the historic 2005 transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU). On January 25, 2007 Senator Inhofe joined Senator Thune in obtaining the support of 72 Senators in a letter to Senate leadership calling for full funding of SAFETEA-LU.
"Congressional leadership made the right decision in keeping its commitment to fully-fund the highway and transit programs," Senator Inhofe said. "As the primary author of the landmark 2005 transportation bill where Congress promised states $295 billion dollars in much needed transportation improvements in the years 2005 to 2009, I am especially pleased to see leadership keep its promise to the American people. Without this funding, the highway and transit funding would have been cut by almost $4 billion dollars, significantly delaying much needed safety and congestion improvements and costing the nation almost 200,000 good-paying American jobs.
"This victory is especially important to my home state of Oklahoma, and I am proud to have played a key role in ensuring that Congress kept its commitment. If Congress failed to do so, Oklahoma would have lost around $47 million dollars of funding – about 10 percent of Oklahoma’s funding for 2007 – and over 2,000 jobs leading to major disruption to Oklahoma’s transportation improvements. Thankfully, however, Congress kept its word."