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Ms. BROWN of Florida. Thank you, Mr. Rahall, for your leadership on this transportation bill.
You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
When President Barack Obama came to the floor, he mentioned to the House that Republicans used to like to build some roads. Well, it is a sad state of affairs in this House of Representatives and a sad day as far as the committee is concerned because we used to have a process that was bipartisan. We worked together.
We can't pass a transportation bill. The only thing we passed was a new bridge for Minnesota. We had to transfer 30 acres of land in one individual congressional district. But the leadership of the Transportation Committee of this House of Representatives can't find floor time to debate a piece of legislation that would create and maintain millions of good-paying jobs for hardworking Americans. Republicans refuse to work with Democrats in crafting a transportation reauthorization bill that has caused us the opportunity to deliver
much-needed relief to the States and to the traveling public.
Certainly, at a time when our Nation's unemployment rate remains at 9 percent, an adequately funded 6-year surface transportation reauthorization bill is critical. What our country needs is a surface transportation bill. But let me be clear: we don't need a 5-year bill with 2-year money.
Transportation and infrastructure funding is absolutely critical to our Nation. We know for every billion dollars we spend, it generates 44,000 permanent jobs. We need and deserve a long-term transportation bill, but the Tea Party members won't be happy until we are riding horses on dirt roads again.
We need to pass the Senate transportation reauthorization bill and add some sanity to this process and send a bill to the President that actually helps the traveling public and puts the American people back to work.
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