Sen. Carper Reacts to Transportation Bill Compromise Vote

Package Reinvests in Nation's Infrastructure, Extends Flood Insurance Coverage for Delawareans, Stops Student Loan Rate Hike

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released a statement following Senate and House approval of a bipartisan bill that reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program, prevents college student loan interest rates from doubling and creates or saves nearly three million jobs by reinvesting in our nation’s infrastructure. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 74-19.

“Today, my colleagues came together to pass legislation that protects Delaware families, gives businesses more certainty to hire, and helps create or preserve millions of American jobs.

“First, the Senate took critical action to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program. This program is paramount to protecting Delawareans who own homes and businesses from the devastating financial effects of flooding. This legislation will also help set the program on a more fiscally sound path, providing some much needed certainty for our recovering housing market and better educating consumers about their flooding risks and protection options.”

“This package also would make repaying college loans less expensive, at least temporarily, for new students. All Americans deserve the opportunity to obtain a quality education so they can be competitive in the global market place. Unfortunately, the costs of obtaining post-secondary education and training continue to rise dramatically, forcing students and their families to rely more heavily on loans to finance their pursuit of higher education. By preventing student loan interest rates from doubling, we are making it easier for all Americans to finance their college education.

“Finally, the Senate reauthorized our federal transportation programs, providing two years of investment in our nation’s roads, bridges and railways and offering businesses with much-needed certainty rather than more stop-gap piecemeal measures. The bill will improve our infrastructure and create and preserve millions of American jobs, especially in the hard-hit construction industry. That being said, the final compromise is a mixed bag. I am disappointed that the bill fails to include clean air and public health provisions, significantly cuts funding for pedestrian and bicycle safety, and does little to address our addiction to foreign oil. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air, I will not rest in my efforts to implement and restore measures to protect public health and the air we breathe. As a member of the Finance Committee, I will continue to explore fiscally responsible ways to invest in critical infrastructure to ensure that America can out-compete any nation in the world.

“I am encouraged that the Senate was able to work together to pass this important legislation, and I hope we can continue to build on this bipartisan momentum that we’ve seen over the past several months.”