WASHINGTON –Today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senator Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure and member of the Finance Committee, jointly released the following statement after the Finance Committee reported out the Preserving America’s Transit and Highways (PATH) Act.
“The Finance Committee took an important first step today to prevent a transportation shutdown,” Wyden said. “But we all know what’s needed next is a long-term bill that rebuilds our broken infrastructure, which reportedly needs $3.6 trillion dollars in repairs. Senator Carper has extraordinary expertise when it comes to transportation, and I commend his unwavering dedication to the issue. I am totally committed to working with Senator Carper and our colleagues to get a long-term funding bill done this year. This is urgent business and inaction is not an option.”
“The time for Congress to pass and fund a long-term transportation bill is this year,” Carper said. “It’s not a job for the next Congress, it’s the job of the current Congress. After five years of short-term extensions, punting on our responsibility to get this done for another year will hinder private sector economic growth and job creation, and will likely continue a harmful cycle of short-term extensions indefinitely. I am thankful Chairman Wyden has pledged to work with me on getting a multi-year funding solution passed in this Congress. I stand ready to work with any member of Congress who wants to pass the long-term transportation plan that our states, cities, and businesses are asking for, and the one that they deserve.”
While the PATH Act is projected to provide funding for the Highway Trust Fund into the spring of 2015, Wyden and Carper will continue to work with Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on passing a fully-funded multi-year transportation bill in the current Congress.