U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) released the following statement after voting Friday to reauthorize federal surface transportation programs, which are set to expire on Saturday. Their expiration would immediately endanger nearly $200 million in projects on I-95 in Delaware alone
"Anyone who has ever driven on I-95 understands just how important it is to maintain our highways. The federal programs that fund much of that construction work help employ millions of Americans and facilitate commerce across the country. These programs are vital to our national, regional and local infrastructure, and I am relieved that they have final been reauthorized.
"It is maddening, however, that the reauthorization didn't come until the very last minute. It's hard to believe that it has been eight months since the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee first passed this reauthorization -- and unanimously, at that. The full Senate later passed the bill with overwhelming bipartisan support and the endorsement of both the Chamber of Commerce, and the AFL-CIO, but partisan obstruction from House Republicans prevented us from moving forward. This silly political maneuver stalled critical highway construction projects from coast to coast that could not be started until the federal funding stream was in place, suffocating opportunities for jobs and jeopardizing urgent infrastructure priorities."