FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Kristina Baum - 202.224.6176
Donelle Harder - 202.224.1282
Statement of Senator James M. Inhofe
Hearing on The Importance of MAP-21 Reauthorization: Perspectives from Owners, Operators, and Users of the System.
Committee on Environment and Public Works
February 25, 2015
Welcome to today’s hearing. This is the second highways hearing we have held this year. As I have said many times, my top priority this year is to pass a fiscally-responsible, long-term highway bill. I am confident that we will be successful in passing a bill, and I thank the witnesses for being here today to help us achieve that goal.
Unfortunately, what used to be the best transportation system in the world is now deteriorating, and our global competitors are greatly outpacing us in their infrastructure investment. I am glad that we have manufacturers before us today to discuss how important transportation is to their businesses and the jobs they support.
American businesses rely on an efficient and reliable transportation network. More than 250 million vehicles traverse the highway system each year and businesses require a reliable transportation network to operate.
But every day, 20,000 miles of our highways slow below posted speed limits or experience stop-and-go conditions. This type of congestion has a huge negative impact on America’s businesses.
Unfortunately, congestion is becoming more and more of a problem for American businesses. In its 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America a “D” grade on the condition of the Nation’s roads and a “C+” on the condition of the Nation’s bridges.
As we are all aware, the Federal highway program is operating on a short-term extension that expires at the end of May.
My staff has been working with Senator Boxer’s staff on a long-term bill that will give our partners the certainty they need to plan and construct important transportation projects.
Our infrastructure investments are a partnership between the Federal government and the States. We need to keep up our end of the bargain and pass a fully-funded, long-term bill.