Congressman Cedric L. Richmond (LA-02) today called on House Republicans to abandon their long delayed transportation bill, and bring up the bipartisan job-creating Senate bill that passed today by a vote of 74 to 22. The Senate bill includes a provision that would send 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to the Gulf States.
"Today, Democratic and Republican Senators overwhelmingly voted on a bill to generate jobs, repair our roads and bridges, rebuild our coastline, and strengthen our economy," said Representative Cedric L. Richmond. "I urge my colleagues in the House to support this bipartisan bill which would help the Gulf Coast recover from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history."
The passage of the Senate's Transportation bill also has major implications for safety related highway improvements in Louisiana. The bill would provide Louisiana with $385.3 million for national highway improvement projects.
More than 80 percent of the nation's offshore oil and gas is produced off of Louisiana's coast, and 25 percent of the nation's foreign and domestic oil comes ashore on Louisiana roads and waterways. The Senate's transportation bill arms Louisiana with the resources needed to continue to protect these resources from natural and man-made threats.
"Investing in our nation's infrastructure has long been a bipartisan issue -- and I am pleased that the Senate continued this tradition today. Sending the bipartisan Senate transportation bill to the President's desk will ensure that critical transportation projects are no longer delayed and desperately needed funds are allocated before the current highway program expires at the end of the month."
On February 16, 2012, Rep. Richmond cosponsored and amendment to H.R. 3408, the "Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act," that would dedicate 80 percent of the Clean Water Act penalties associated with the Deepwater Horizon disaster to the Gulf States. The amendment passed by voice vote.