Today, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) co-sponsored, legislation to fund critical infrastructure projects. Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
The bill will make funding a priority to emergency infrastructure projects by transferring the funding that is currently dedicated to beautification projects.
"With an ever-expanding national debt and an increasing number of infrastructure projects nearing crisis level, the best solution to address both is to spend money we already have and put it to better use. By offsetting the cost of these emergency projects with funds previously used for turtle tunnels and squirrel sanctuaries, we are making infrastructure emergencies a priority without compromising our financial stability any further," Sen. Paul said.
"This legislation is an innovative way to address our transportation infrastructure in Kentucky, and could enable us to repair our bridges and roads without adding to our deficit," Leader McConnell said. "Kentuckians are tired of financing every turtle tunnel and solar panel company, and not using the funds to repair our bridges and roads. This legislation seeks to change that, and I applaud my fellow Kentuckian for taking the lead on it."
"This legislation is a common sense solution that provides emergency funding for bridge repairs and upgrades without increasing our debt," Sen. Coats said. "Meeting our nation's most pressing infrastructure needs is important for economic growth and the safety of commuters. I am proud to stand with Senator Paul to address these vital needs without increasing taxes or adding to the national debt."
"While we're fortunate that the Sherman Minton Bridge repairs will be easier than originally expected, the situation highlighted some deficiencies in our transportation funding system. This legislation will help us begin to address those deficiencies, and I'm glad to introduce the House version of the bill," Rep. Young said. "I realize that not all repair projects will end up with a similar easy answer, but the funding solution in those more difficult cases should be quicker and simpler than it is today. To that end, I look forward to working with House leadership, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Indiana Department of Transportation to improve our current transportation funding system."