Sens. Carper, Corker, Boxer Amendment to Receive Vote in Senate
Amendment Ensures Long-Term Highway Bill Solution This Year
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, chairman of the Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure and member of the Finance Committee, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced the Senate has agreed to vote on their amendment today to the Highway Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (H.R. 5021) that would force Congress to stop shirking its responsibility to pass a long-term transportation bill this year.
“Congress must act this year to pass and fund a long-term transportation bill,” Sen. Carper said. “Our states, cities and businesses are asking for more certainty so that they can plan the type of transformative projects that will restore our aging infrastructure and strengthen our economy. I remain deeply concerned that if we kick this can into next year that the next Congress – like so many Congresses before it – will be unable to summon the courage necessary to write a long-term plan for our nation’s infrastructure. It’s this Congress’ responsibility to come up with a long-term solution. Not the next one. Our amendment would ensure that this Congress gets its job done this year.”
“It’s time for members on both sides of the aisle to decide if they want to continue this irresponsible practice of stealing from future generations to pay for short-term spending today or if they are ready to make the tough decisions they were elected to make and work on a long-term, sustainable solution to our highway funding,” said Sen. Corker. “I hope my colleagues will support this amendment, and commit to find a way to reform and pay for our transportation projects in the same timeframe the money is spent.”
“We must uphold our responsibility to find a long-term transportation funding solution, and the best opportunity to do that is later this year,” said Sen. Boxer. “That is why we need to pass the bipartisan Carper-Corker-Boxer amendment which is supported by businesses and workers. Congress needs to do its job.”
The Carper-Corker-Boxer amendment to H.R. 5021 would:
- Extend federal transportation program authorizations through December 19, 2014 to ensure that Congress remains focused on the critical and urgent task of passing a fully-funded long-term solution to the Highway Trust Fund crisis before the end of the year;
- Provide sufficient funding to the Department of Transportation to reimburse states for highway and transit projects through December 2014;
- Strike the pension smoothing provisions that generate revenue in the 10-year window that would likely cost taxpayers money in the long run, and;
- Include revenue provisions from the Preserving America’s Transit and Highways (PATH) Act reported out of the Senate Finance Committee that contain bipartisan tax compliance measures, while omitting the pension smoothing gimmick.