EPW Committee Unanimously Advances Most Substantial Highway Legislation in History
Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) released the following statements on the committee’s passage of S. 2302, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019. The legislation as amended passed the committee by a vote of 21 to 0.
The bill authorizes $287 billion over five years, including $259 billion for formula programs to maintain and repair America’s roads and bridges. The total represents an increase of over 27 percent from FAST Act levels. The legislation includes provisions to improve road safety, streamline project delivery, protect the environment and grow the economy.
Carper and Barrasso serve as ranking member and chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW). Cardin and Capito serve as ranking member and chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
“For far too long, our country has leaped from one highway funding crisis to the next and failed to implement forward-looking solutions to the challenges facing our transportation sector,” said Senator Carper. “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act will ensure that every community reaps the benefits of strong federal investment, with safer roads, cleaner air, greater mobility and more connectivity. It’s my hope that our committee’s action today sets an example and will inspire other committees of jurisdiction to put forth their titles soon. I thank Chairman Barrasso and our colleagues, Senators Capito and Cardin, for their strong bipartisan partnership. I look forward to the work ahead of us.
“Our committee has taken a significant step in improving our roads and bridges,” said Senator Barrasso. “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act will grow our economy, improve road safety, expedite important projects, and enhance quality of life for the American people. Our bipartisan legislation will help rural communities in Wyoming and major urban areas around the country. I am thankful to Ranking Member Carper and all the members of our committee for working with me to advance the most substantial highway legislation in history.”
“Working together, we were able to create legislation that makes some important, bipartisan steps toward a modern, safe and sustainable transportation system,” said Senator Cardin. “Investing in our roads, bridges, tunnels and bike/pedestrian paths is not only an urgent matter for ensuring basic performance, reliability, and safety, it is a necessary part of laying a foundation of public health and economic well-being for generations to come. I’m proud that we were able to find bipartisan consensus on the first-ever climate title in such a major transportation package. It sends a clear signal that the perils of a changing climate can no longer be ignored in our decisions about infrastructure.”
“After several months of serious bipartisan negotiation, I am so proud of the final surface transportation bill we considered today and even more proud of the incredible bipartisan support it received,” said Senator Capito. “This legislation will help improve the roads, highways, and bridges Americans count on to travel safely within their communities and across the country; facilitate commerce and encourage economic growth; and provide the certainty states and other stakeholders need to complete critical projects. It includes many programs and provisions that I think will appeal to members on both sides of the aisle—not to mention all of the individuals and families it will benefit in West Virginia and across the country—and I look forward to continuing to champion the bill as it moves to the Senate floor.”
On July 29, 2019, Barrasso, Carper, Capito, and Cardin introduced America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019.
On July 10, 2019, the EPW Committee held a hearing titled “Investing in America’s Surface Transportation Infrastructure: The Need for a Multi-Year Reauthorization Bill.”