Highway Bill: ‘A Major Victory’

‘A Legislative Feat,’ ‘An End To The Cycle Of Temporary Extensions … That Have Bedeviled Congress For The Past Seven Years’


SEN. JIM INHOFE (R-OK): “Passing a long-term highway bill has been my top priority as chairman of the Senate EPW committee, and I’ve been pleased to work alongside my colleagues to make this historic piece of legislation a reality. This bill will provide the long overdue investments needed to put America back on the map as a place to do business.” (Sen. Inhofe, Press Release, 12/1/15)

‘First Time Congress Has Accomplished The Feat Since George W. Bush Was In The White House’

“Lo and behold, Congress has delivered a long-term highway bill. It is practically a holiday miracle.” (“Highway Bill Offers A Seasonal Display Of Congressional Unity,” The New York Times, 12/5/15)

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): “…I believe it is a major accomplishment for our people who expect us to fund a top-notch transportation system.” (“Congress Reaches Deal On 5-Year Transportation Bill,” AP, 12/1/15)

  • BOXER: “I thank Leader McConnell because this has been a difficult negotiation but I think one that is going to bear fruit in terms of millions of jobs and thousands of businesses in much better shape.” (Sen. Boxer, Congressional Record, S.5187, 7/21/15)

“Congress reaches deal on 5-year highway bill …a legislative coup a decade in the making… delivering a long-term, fully funded highway and transit bill to the White House would be a major coup — the first time Congress has accomplished the feat since George W. Bush was in the White House.” (“Congress Reaches Deal On 5-Year Highway Bill,” Politico, 12/1/15)

  • “…legislative feat that lawmakers and President Barack Obama have struggled throughout his administration to achieve. The bill, unveiled Tuesday, would also put an end to the cycle of temporary extensions and threatened shutdowns of transportation programs that have bedeviled Congress for the past seven years, making it difficult for states to plan long-term projects.” (“Congress Reaches Deal On 5-Year Transportation Bill,” AP, 12/1/15)
  • “…the overwhelming consensus is that the final product is broadly palatable and a big win for a Congress that has struggled for so many years to provide a steady stream of funding for the Highway Trust Fund.” (Politico’s “Morning Transportation,” 12/2/15)
  • “‘This vital piece of legislation provides much-needed long-term certainty and flexibility for state and local governments and puts a renewed focus on the national transportation projects that allow Americans to move and our economy to thrive,’ said America’s Infrastructure Alliance President Jeff Loveng. ‘We have waited a long time for our congressional leaders to make transportation infrastructure a national priority and it appears that it has been worth the wait,’ he continued.” (“Negotiators Strike Deal On Five-Year, $305B Highway Bill,” The Hill, 12/1/15)

“Since 1987, Congress has generally failed to pass long-term transportation bills, relying on short-term measures, which experts say make it difficult for states and local governments to plan crucial projects.” (“Bipartisan Talks Yield $300 Billion Highway Bill,” The New York Times, 12/1/15)


Dems Previous ‘Inability’ To Pass Long-Term Highway Bill ‘An Outrage,’ ‘Wreaked Havoc’ On Planned Infrastructure Improvements

TRANSPORTATION SEC. ANTHONY FOXX: “‘The condition of the nation’s transportation infrastructure ‘should be an outrage to every American,’ he said…‘How can you plan, as a researcher or a civil engineer in a transportation department, if you don’t have long-term certainty’ about funding, he asked. ‘I think the American people are going to have to say at some point, ‘This is enough. We can’t keep driving on these potholes.’” (“Transportation Chief Visits Pittsburgh To View New Research, Technology,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/23/15)

“And Congress’ inability to agree on a long-term funding solution has wreaked havoc on state transportation departments, which plan their projects years, not months, in advance. (“Congress Approves Highway Funding Fix At Last Minute, But The Problem Isn’t Solved,” McClatchy, 7/31/14)

“The analysis of the federal government data, conducted by American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, shows cars, trucks and school buses cross the nation’s 61,064 structurally compromised bridges 215 million times every day.  Not surprisingly, the most heavily traveled are on the Interstate Highway System, which carries the bulk of truck traffic and passenger vehicles.” (ARTBA, Press Release, 4/1/15)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Highway Bill, Back to Work, Infrastructure, Restoring the Senate