Surface Transportation Reauthorization & Reform Act Receives Overwhelming House Support
Following three days of debate, during which over 100 amendments were considered, the U.S. House of Representatives today overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan, multi-year surface transportation bill to reauthorize and reform federal highway, transit, and highway safety programs.
The Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (the STRR Act) helps improve the Nation’s surface transportation infrastructure, refocuses programs on addressing national priorities, provides more flexibility and certainty for states and local governments, accelerates project delivery, maintains a strong commitment to safety, and promotes innovation to make the transportation system and programs more effective.
The legislation, approved today by a vote of 363 to 64, was introduced in the House by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), and Highways and Transit Subcommittee Ranking Member Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).
“Today the House voted to give our infrastructure and our economy a much needed shot in the arm,” Shuster said. “The STRR Act provides strong reforms and policies to help us improve America’s transportation system, and now we can get to work on resolving the differences with the Senate bill and carry a final measure over the goal line,” Shuster said.
“I am very pleased, that after ten years of short-term band-aids and extensions, the House finally passed a bipartisan, six-year transportation bill,” said DeFazio. “This legislation isn’t perfect. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide the level of investment needed to repair or rebuild our aging 1950s-era system of roads, bridges, and public transit systems. It does, however, include a critical provision that would allow for automatic adjustments and increased infrastructure investment if more money flows into the Highway Trust Fund than currently projected. If Congress does the right thing and comes up with more revenue to deposit into the Highway Trust Fund, this mechanism will invest those funds in our surface transportation infrastructure, without any additional action by Congress. This is a step in the right direction. I commend Chairman Shuster, Chairman Graves, and Ranking Member Norton for this bill and look forward to the upcoming conference with the Senate.”
“Properly investing in and modernizing this country’s infrastructure should be a top priority of the federal government,” Graves said. “But for the past decade, states have been forced to operate off of one short-term highway extension after another. A multi-year surface transportation bill is critical to all of those responsible for maintaining America’s roads and bridges, and today’s bipartisan vote reflects that. I want to thank Chairman Shuster and Ranking Members DeFazio and Holmes Norton for all of their hard work completing this bill.”
“The crowning achievement of this bill is its six years of promised funding to the states and the District of Columbia so that they can, once again, resume significant projects,” Norton said. “This six-year authorization comes at a time when much of our infrastructure needs rebuilding, not repair. To keep this six-year funding promise, we must reinvent the Highway Trust Fund. If we work together, as Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio, Subcommittee Chairman Graves and I have on the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, we will be able to take pride in doing for the nation’s 21st century infrastructure what the Eisenhower administration and Congress did for the nation’s 20th century infrastructure nearly 60 years ago.”
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