This morning Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01) was joined by Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, President Don Shubert of the Connecticut Construction Trades Association and President Ed Reilly of the Building & Construction Trades Council to stress the importance federal transportation funding to Connecticut and the nation.
Recently House Republicans proposed a transportation bill that would have made significant cuts to transportation funding and cost the nation over half a million jobs, including 12,000 in Connecticut alone. Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood, a former Republican Congressman from Illinois, called the bill "the most partisan transportation bill I have seen in 30 years of public service."
"As Republican leadership in Congress continues to push an ideologically-driven agenda, it is the American people that continue to suffer," Congressman Larson said. "Transportation is typically one of the most bipartisan issues that Congress takes up, however, House leadership has introduced a bill filled with poison pills and funding cuts that will do nothing to help the average commuter who spends the equivalent of one full week stuck in traffic each year. It's time for House Republicans to work with Democrats and Senate Republicans to pass a transportation bill that makes the investments we need to improve our roads and get America back to work."
The lawmakers and labor leaders held a press conference today underneath the I-84 overpass on Flower Street in Hartford to promote replacing the aging I-84 viaduct -- one of the many projects that could benefit from an adequately-funded transportation bill.
"Connecticut's Capital City needs a transportation bill that not only improves our highway infrastructure but also enhances our ability to provide jobs and create space that generates revenue and promotes development," Mayor Segarra said. "I applaud Congressman Larson for continuing to do what he has always done - leading the charge for legislation that best serves the people of Hartford and the region."
"For the last six months, leaders in Washington have repeatedly stated that the surface transportation bill is an important item for the jobs agenda," Shubert said. "Congressman Larson has been very supportive on those issues. It is time for the rest of Congress to follow him and make transportation job number one by passing a fully funded long-range surface transportation bill."
"I would like to thank Congressman Larson of behalf of the building trades for his position on creating economic recovery in the state of Connecticut and for his position on rebuilding roads, highways, and bridges in the interest of public safety," Reilly said.
The current transportation authorization is scheduled to expire at the end of the month. It was originally passed by a vote of 412-8 in the House and 94-4 in the Senate and has been extended eight times as Congress tries to overcome partisan GOP gridlock.