Chairman Carper Welcomes President Obama’s 21st Century Plan for Transportation and Infrastructure

WASHINGTON – Today Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Environment & Public Works’ Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, released the following statement after President Obama submitted a four-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal:

“I welcome President Obama’s forward-thinking proposal for reauthorizing our nation’s federal transportation program. I have long been a strong supporter of smart transportation investments as a key strategy to expand commerce and grow our economy by making it easier, faster, and more affordable to connect people, goods, and services.

“Our first priority is to ensure that the Highway Trust Fund doesn’t run out of money, which could happen as soon as August of this year without Congressional action. I appreciate the President’s leadership in proposing concrete solutions for addressing the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, as well his willingness to consider other proposals from Congress.

“I am happy to see the President’s proposal increases investments in our transportation infrastructure while also building on the reforms implemented by the last transportation bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21.  These common sense reforms help ensure that our transportation projects are getting the most bang for the taxpayer buck. The bipartisan MAP-21 bill, led by Senators Boxer and Inhofe, contained several important new policies to make our transportation system smarter, more efficient, and more cost-effective. The President’s initiatives builds on this foundation by further improving smart transportation planning tools, strengthening key performance incentives, and emphasizing investments that expand economic opportunities for both businesses and workers by increasing connectivity.

“Finally, as the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency, I was heartened to see the President’s inclusion of recommendations from the Sandy Task Force to encourage more resilient designs for highway, transit, and rail infrastructure.

“I look forward to working with Chairman Boxer, Ranking Member Vitter, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Barrasso to do our part to support a robust, cost-effective, and thoughtful federal transportation program to continue spurring American commerce and economic growth.”