I helped lead the effort to include an important amendment in the highway bill. Under the RESTORE Act, most of the fines collected from the parties responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill would be directed to Mississippi and other Gulf Coast states. Current law calls for these Clean Water Act penalties to go to the U.S. Treasury, where their allocation would face significant red tape.
Keeping our Gulf Coast resilient for years to come means making sure our communities have the resources they need now to fully recover from the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The RESTORE Act is a bipartisan acknowledgement that the revitalization of the Gulf Coast is a priority and that its recovery efforts should be directed locally.
As de Tocqueville described, the Senate was not for "petty passions" but for debating and enacting legislative answers to our nation's challenges. Staying focused on practical solutions to spur the economy and create jobs is how the Senate should fulfill this role today.