May 16 2014
As you are headed home this Friday evening there’s a good chance a number of you got there via different modes of transportation. Some of you likely drove, others took a bus or the train, and some may have walked or ridden a bicycle. At the same time, supplies and products were making their way from one company to another or from a retailer to your door step. The cars, trucks, trains, boats, planes, roads and waterways that move people and goods make up our national transportation system. Given that this week is National Transportation Week, I thought I’d share some of the work I’ve been doing in Congress on this vitally important issue.
Two years ago, Congress recognized that a new approach was needed to target critical infrastructure investments, and we passed a bill called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 st Century, or MAP-21, which helped lay groundwork for smarter and more cost-effective ways of building, managing and maintaining our nation’s transportation system.
For months, I have been working closely with my bipartisan colleagues Senators Barbara Boxer, David Vitter and John Barrasso to craft a new version of MAP-21 that takes the
next step in improving American infrastructure that will help every American and every American business. Yesterday, we passed this legislation out of the Environment & Public Works Committee- the first step to it becoming a law.
Every state, city, and town in the country has a stake in this bill, which provides for more than 40 percent of all highway capital investments and a quarter of public transit funding in America. It also has a huge impact on the way we move freight. Efficient, reliable, and affordable freight movement is important to nearly every type of business in Delaware and across the nation, whether it’s by air, ground, or sea. In fact, the U.S. transportation system moves more than 52 million tons of goods worth nearly $46 billion every day. Simply put, our economy relies on having first rate transportation infrastructure.
Passing this bill would protect 112,000 different transportation projects around the country and the jobs of more than 700,000 people that work on these projects. I know that Delawareans, and all Americans, are counting on Congress to get this done because local projects that affect their quality of life, and their livelihoods, are at risk. I’m confident that we in Congress will do what’s necessary to pass this transportation bill and return confidence to the states, cities and citizens counting on the federal government to be a partner in infrastructure investment that we all count on.