Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN-9) today issued the following statement on the GOP's controversial multi-year surface transportation proposal to reauthorize our country's highway, highway safety, transit, and rail programs. The most recent multi-year surface transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU) expired in September 2009, and the program has continued to operate through temporary extensions. Breaking with Committee precedent and tradition, the current proposal was drafted by the Majority with no consultation or input from the Minority.
"America needs to invest in a 21st century surface transportation network," said Congressman Cohen. "The GOP proposal drastically cuts funding for vital transportation and infrastructure projects and will destroy nearly 500,000 jobs in the first year alone. The bill would also have devastating impacts on the Memphis economy which relies on our city's great transportation assets and a functioning national transportation system. If Congress is serious about creating jobs, ending the recession, and ensuring the nation's economic competitiveness, we must reject this proposal and pass a long-term surface transportation bill that rebuilds our deteriorating infrastructure and puts Americans back to work."