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Conference Report on H.R. 4348, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. BROWN of Florida. I had much higher hopes for this transportation reauthorization bill and long for the days that our committee worked together in a bipartisan manner, but this is a good day for the traveling public and for the American economy. This transportation bill will strengthen our infrastructure, provide quality jobs, and serve as a tool to put the American people back to work.

Although I would have preferred a long-term bill with much more funding for infrastructure, and I'm disappointed that we did not include a rail title or give our local transit agencies the flexibility they asked for during these economic times, this bill will give States, local governments, and other transportation stakeholders some stability to plan and build critical transportation projects.

This bill provides steady funding for both highway and transit programs, maintains the 80-20 split between highway and transit, speeds up the permitting process for projects, includes important safety measures that will save lives, and maintains OSHA oversight of hazardous materials.

I am also pleased that this legislation includes the RESTORE Act, which will help gulf States like my State of Florida recover damages and plan for and prevent future oil spills. Florida's economy is based on tourism and would be destroyed overnight if an oil spill reached our beaches.

This isn't a perfect bill, but I am going to vote for it. I want to thank the Senate, and I want to thank Senator Boxer, Mr. Mica and Mr. Rahall, and all for working together. My understanding is that this is a clean bill and we can vote for it. No riders are included is my understanding. So I will vote for it, and I will recommend my colleagues vote for it too.

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