Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, released the following statement after the Senate approved the Highway Transportation Funding Act (H.R. 5021). Earlier this week, a bipartisan majority of the Senate approved the Carper-Corker-Boxer amendment to this legislation, which would have forced Congress to stop shirking its responsibility to pass a long-term transportation bill this year. The modified version was rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives.

“This week, we saw magic happen in the Senate. The institution functioned as our Founding Fathers intended – we debated, we offered amendments, we worked across party lines. In the end, an overwhelming bipartisan majority – 79 Senators – chose to vote for a proposal to ensure Congress completes its work to pass long-term, fully-funded transportation legislation by the end of the year. Passing such a bill would be one of the best possible things Congress could do this year to support our nation’s ongoing economic recovery.

“I am disappointed that House Republicans instead chose to kick the can down the road into next year. This marks the 12th time in five years that Congress has resorted to short-term patches for transportation funding. Our states, cities and businesses deserve more certainty to plan and execute the projects that will restore our aging transportation system and grow our economy. The millions of Americans we depend on to do this work deserve certainty about whether or not they have a job and families in this country deserve more convenient, affordable and safer commutes.

“While Congress is adjourning until September, our job is far from over. We demonstrated this week that there is a coalition of the willing that is just as eager as I am to enact a long-term transportation bill before the end of this Congress. That coalition includes Democrats and Republicans, business and labor leaders, truckers, motorists, transit riders and even cyclists. During the August recess and after we return to Washington in September, I will continue to work with this broad coalition to ensure Congress does what it is elected to do – govern and lead by example.”