U.S. Congressman Mike Ross of Prescott on Friday voted to pass the Conference Report on H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, which authorizes highway and transit programs at current levels for 27 months through the end of Fiscal Year 2014. Current highway funding was scheduled to expire at the end of this month. The bill passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support and must now be considered by the Senate.
"I am proud to have helped pass the Conference Report on H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, because it will allow us to continue making the investments our communities so desperately need. This transportation extension will allow us to construct new roads and highways and make much-needed improvements and repairs to our current infrastructure. This legislation will also help our economy by offering more certainty, creating jobs for infrastructure construction projects, and providing economic opportunities for the future," said Ross.
H.R. 4348 is fully paid for and also includes an extension of the current 3.4 percent loan rate on need-based student loans through July 1, 2013. The rate was scheduled to double to 6.8 percent on July 1, 2012 if Congress failed to take action.
"In 2007, I voted for and helped pass H.R. 2669, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which originally cut student loan interest rates in half, and I am pleased that Members of Congress sought common ground and found a solution to extend this very important benefit. Our continued economic recovery is directly tied to the education of our children, and this legislation helps ensure that our students have the opportunity to attend college as affordably as possible," said Ross.