Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee and one of the Big Four – the bipartisan group of Senators negotiating an agreement on surface transportation reauthorization legislation, released the following statement regarding the Environment & Public Works Committee hearing on "The Importance of MAP–21 Reauthorization: Perspectives from Owners, Operators, and Users of the System."

"Thank you Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Boxer for holding for this important hearing today. Our witnesses offer a unique and pertinent perspective on this critical issue and I look forward to hearing from them as this committee and our colleagues on both sides of the Capitol continue working on the transportation infrastructure strategy that our country so desperately needs. 

"As a former governor, I come at transportation planning and funding with a perspective that is similar to that of some of our witnesses – one that has been shaped by years of working on projects on both the federal and state levels. I understand the vital nature of the partnership between the federal government and the states when it comes to transportation and, unfortunately, I know all too well how we in the federal government have not been great partners in recent years by approving short-term patch after short-term patch. I'm committed to changing that.

"Every state, city, and town in the country has a stake in this bill, which provides for more than a forty percent of all highway capital investments and a quarter of public transit funding in America. We haven't been able to give our governors, mayors, and other officials the certainty of long term funding since SAFETEA-LU expired in 2009. In the meantime, state and local officials, both Republican and Democrat, have been stepping up to the plate and finding ways to raise revenue to pay for transportation investments. But these officials are doing so based on the long-standing promise that the federal government will continue to be a partner in infrastructure investments.

"The bipartisan bill we passed unanimously out of this committee last year will provide the foundation we need to do our part to deliver on that promise. My hope is that we can make even more improvements in this Congress to build on the comprehensive reforms of MAP-21, which sought higher performance and more accountability.

"Whether it is poultry in Delaware, energy from Oklahoma or Louisiana, or produce from California, our state's industries depend on smart investments in transportation for efficient supply chains to get their goods to market. Regardless of where we make those investments, we all get the benefits. Because ultimately, we can try to compete in a global economy as 50 individual states, but I believe we are much more likely to succeed when we compete as the United States."