SAFE, ACCOUNTABLE, FLEXIBLE, EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT: A LEGACY FOR USERS -- (Senate - July 29, 2005)
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Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, I proudly rise in support of the transportation bill that Congress passed today. It has been 3 years in the making, and I must admit there were times when I thought this moment would never come.
I could not be more pleased to vote for this transportation bill. When the Senate passed this legislation in May, I feared that Wisconsin would suffer under an unfair, 5-year bill. Today, Congress passed legislation that is significantly different. This legislation treats my State equitably. Over the next five years, Wisconsin will receive an average rate of return of $1.06. Wisconsin taxpayers are getting their fair share under this bill, and that deserves everyone's support.
The Wisconsin delegation has worked tirelessly on improving this legislation over the past 3 years. I would especially like to thank Congressman PETRI, whose efforts as chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways, Transit and Pipelines helped ensure the fair treatment of Wisconsin. Throughout the process, Congressman PETRI worked with others in the delegation, and this bill is truly the result of bipartisan cooperation. I would also like to thank the members of the Environment and Public Works Committee: Chairman INHOFE and Ranking Member Jeffords, along with Senators BOND and BAUCUS worked hard to ensure that the needs of all fifty States were met.
Three years in the making and this legislation is long overdue. This bill will mitigate the congestion that clogs our roadways, and it will enhance safety on highways throughout Wisconsin. It provides needed funding for such critical projects as the Marquette Interchange, the St. Croix River Crossing and the Sturgeon Bay Bridge. Commuters and visitors alike will see a direct benefit from this legislation, in addition to the thousands of jobs that the funding in this bill will create.
For 3 years, I have been consistent in my request for Congress to complete an equitable transportation authorization bill. I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting exactly that.