Surface Transportation Bill Conference Committee Meeting
2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Chairman Shuster’s prepared remarks:
When I became Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, one of my highest priorities was passing a multi-year bill to improve our Nation’s roads, bridges, and transit systems. So I’m pleased that we’re here today and getting closer to that goal.
I believe everyone in this room understands how critical our transportation system is to the economy, and to our constituents’ quality of life. Our surface transportation system has a direct impact on our lives every single day. It affects how we get to work, how our kids get home from school, how raw materials get to factories, how products find their way to the store shelf, and more. A safe, efficient transportation system means that we spend less time stuck in traffic, it means our country and American businesses are more competitive, and it means jobs.
On November 5th, more than 360 Members of the House overwhelmingly passed a multi-year transportation bill that includes a number of good policies and reforms. The House bill refocuses our transportation programs on national priorities, provides more flexibility for states and local governments, streamlines the federal bureaucracy, accelerates the project approval process, facilitates the flow of freight and commerce, and promotes innovation.
We developed a strong bipartisan bill, thanks to the hard work of Ranking Member DeFazio, Chairman Sam Graves, Ranking Member Norton, and many others – including the members of this committee.
We have our differences with the Senate’s bill, but that’s why we’re here. Fortunately, there is plenty of common ground between the two proposals to allow us to reach an agreement that both Houses can willingly support. We’ve already made some very good progress in working through some of our differences, and I look forward to finishing our work on a final measure that helps improve America’s infrastructure.