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Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy for Users

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Location: Washington, DC


TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT: A LEGACY FOR USERS -- (House of Representatives - April 01, 2004)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 593 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, H.R. 3550.

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Mr. VITTER. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 7 offered by Mr. Vitter:

At the end of section 1301(b)(1), add the following:

The Interstate Route 49 Corridor shall receive priority consideration under this paragraph.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 593, the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Vitter) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Vitter).

Mr. VITTER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, this is an amendment to officially represent a vitally important corridor, I-49, and specifically recognize it as qualifying under the new National Corridor Infrastructure Improvement program. I think everyone will agree that this is exactly the sort of crucial corridor for economic purposes, military uses, the movement of agricultural products, all sorts of key uses, that this program is about. So the purpose of the amendment would be to formally recognize in the bill, to make sure that it qualifies. There is no specific amount of money associated with I-49 through this amendment, just to ensure that it fully qualifies under that improvement program.

Again, I-49 is such a corridor of national significance because of the movement of ag products from the heartland of the country to our ports in the south and across the globe; because of defense and security issues, I-49 links so many of our military bases; because of trade, again, agriculture is perhaps the biggest example of that, but it is an enormous trade corridor into the heartland of the country; because of energy, moving energy from Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico into the country; and because of safety concerns.

That is the reason, that is the purpose behind that amendment. I intend to withdraw the amendment in a few moments after engaging in a short colloquy with the chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. VITTER. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. John).

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Mr. VITTER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Alaska (Mr. Young), to have a conversation in the form of a colloquy.

Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Mr. Chairman, I would like to offer the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Vitter) my support for this route. I have had the privilege of speaking to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. McCrery), the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Vitter), the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. John), everybody involved in this area; and my attention as time goes by as we go to the conference, this will be one of the routes that is considered as a high priority, because it is badly needed, not only for the State of Louisiana, but for the other States in proximity too.

I would like to say that we had enough money to do everything, but I am not going to say we do. But this is one of the areas that I am very strongly in support of, and I will do everything I can to see that we achieve those goals.

Mr. VITTER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman very much for that pledge of support, and I look forward to working with the gentleman proactively as the process moves along.

Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment.

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