Representative Steve Southerland, II applauded House approval today of a 90-day transportation funding extension that adopts language from the RESTORE Act and expedites construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Extension Act, passed the House by a 293-127 margin.
"I am pleased that the House acted in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner to approve this legislation, despite a veto threat from the President," Southerland said. "As a member of the House Transportation Committee, an author of the RESTORE Act, and an ardent supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline, I believe this legislation is a win-win-win for North and Northwest Florida. It meets our federal transportation funding needs, while expediting the permitting process for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and ensuring that the Gulf Coast communities that were hardest hit by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill receive critically important recovery funds from BP."
House and Senate leadership will soon appoint members to a Conference Committee to iron out differences between their respective transportation funding bills.
LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY OF H.R. 4348:
* Extends authority to appropriate Highway Trust Fund dollars for highway and surface transportation programs for 90 days, through September 30, 2012
* Extends highway safety and public transportation programs
* Maintains funding at current levels
* Adopts language similar to Southerland's RESTORE Act legislation
* Establishes the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund and dedicates 80% of BP fines to the Gulf Coast communities that were most hard hit economically by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE
* Requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to issue a permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline within 30 days of receiving an application