Kristina Baum (EPW) – 202.224.6176

Donelle Harder (EPW) – 202.224.4721

Inhofe Praises Senate Vote, Urges Action in the House

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today praised the Senate for continuing to move forward on the DRIVE Act (H.R. 22) after cloture was invoked on McConnell amendment #2266 to H.R. 22 by a vote of 62 to 32. 

“I applaud the Senate for taking another significant step in advancing the DRIVE Act in Congress,” said Inhofe. “I am confident we will have this legislation ready for the House before the July 31 deadline, and it is my hope that the House will reconsider taking up this bipartisan piece of legislation that gives long-term funding certainty for our nation’s highway system, the backbone of our economy. I strongly urge the House to listen to the American people. Americans don’t want Congress to kick the can down the road.  They want to know their infrastructure dollars are not being wasted on short-term measures. Americans want more time with their families, and less time in traffic. Americans want to get another day or two out of their tank of gasoline instead of wasting it in traffic. Americans don’t want to see the cost of their household goods rise, because Congress failed to provide a solution to crumbling bridges and highway congestion. 

"Just last week, 100 mayors from across the nation wrote to Senate leaders urging for a long-term transportation bill saying that, ‘if the status quo continues, deficient transportation infrastructure will cost American businesses $430 billion by 2020.’ Then there are the 31 construction and transportation groups who sent a harsh reminder to Congress that ‘past extensions have not led to a lasting solution to the Highway Trust Fund’s repeated revenue shortfalls.’ Furthermore, a recent AP poll shows that not only do Americans support spending on surface transportation, but 53 percent even want an increase in spending to build and improve our nation’s roads and bridges. Americans are proud of their Constitution, and the Constitution demands for Congress to be involved in our nation’s surface transportation.

"Senator Boxer and I have been listening to our constituents and seeking the input of stakeholders and industry for many months as we worked to put together the DRIVE Act.  This bill received unanimous support when it was reported out of our committee on June 24. I do not know what the House was doing back in the spring when we had our first Highway Trust Fund deadline under the 114th Congress, or what they were doing this summer when we were given two more months to find a solution. The solution is here; it’s bipartisan, and it’s the DRIVE Act. The DRIVE Act is not just about safer and more efficient roads, but it’s also about supporting sustained economic opportunity with a robust surface transportation system. The DRIVE Act will encourage the creation of well-paying jobs here in the United States and increase our competitiveness in the global market. I hope the House will start listening to the American people, and reconsider the Senate’s bipartisan, common-sense solution for our nation’s surface transportation system.”