Mr. CARDIN. First, let me express my disappointment that we are not here debating the surface transportation reauthorization bill. We had a bill that came out of the Environment and Public Works Committee and came out of several other of our committees by unanimous vote, so it is a bipartisan bill. It is a bill that will save jobs and create jobs here in America. It will reinvest in our own infrastructure to make America more competitive. And, as I said, it has been done in a bipartisan manner thanks to the hard work of many people.
I see Senator Boxer on the floor. Thanks to her incredible leadership, we have an agreed path forward from the point of view of the relevant amendments. So what is holding up the process? It is these amendments that have absolutely nothing to do with the transportation programs of this country. We are talking about policy in Egypt, which has nothing to do with our transportation needs. I would start by saying how disappointed I am that we haven't yet started the real debate on our transportation reauthorization bill which will create jobs, save jobs, modernize America, and make us more competitive.
Let me yield for a moment, if I could, to my colleague from California, Senator Boxer.
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Mr. CARDIN. The Senator is absolutely correct. We need more jobs in America. I congratulate the Obama administration for turning our economy around. We have had 23 consecutive months of private sector job growth, but we don't have enough jobs yet. We have to create more jobs. Now is the time to be bold on looking for responsible programs that can move this country forward and creating more jobs, not only initially in road construction, in bridge construction and transit construction, but making us more competitive for the future and creating permanent job growth for America, jobs that cannot be exported. That is what we should be doing, and that is why the surface transportation bill is so important for us to bring up and debate and pass.
And, quite frankly, the Senator from California had performed something unprecedented--well, not unprecedented but unusual here--in that she got bipartisan support from three committees, and we are working on the fourth now. Senator Boxer has gotten all the committees together, and so it is time to move this bill forward for jobs throughout America.
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