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 of the Senate 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.
“Unfortunately, the House rejected this principled compromise and 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. That’s not how a leading nation should fund the infrastructure that is critical to supporting our economy. Our states, cities and businesses deserve more certainty to plan and execute the projects that will restore our aging transportation system and strengthen 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, my colleagues should not congratulate themselves on a job well done. We are nowhere near the finish line. During the August recess and after we return to Washington in September, I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol, as well as a broad coalition of businesses, labor, truckers, motorists, transit riders, and elected officials, to ensure we do what we were sent to Congress to do – govern and lead by example.”