Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), today spoke in support of the Passage of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Conference Report:
"I am proud that the House passed a bipartisan agreement today to ensure stable funding of transportation projects through Fiscal Year 2014, helping New York State and industry and labor partners plan for long-term projects. While this bill has been needlessly delayed for months by House Republicans, I am glad this bill was passed to create jobs and alleviate the uncertainty that businesses and state and local governments have faced across the country.
"Twenty-seven months of stable transportation funding will have a profound effect on New York. More than 100,000 jobs will be created and supported in the State, providing the support to our local economy and infrastructure projects.
"In addition, substantial federal investments in our infrastructure will be possible through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program. The TIFIA authority funds will increase tenfold to $1 billion for FY2014, and the federal share of project costs will be raised from 33% to 49%. Together, these provisions will increase the likelihood that projects like the Tappan Zee Bridge will receive critical funding and provide a boost for our local economy.
"Additionally, I am very pleased Congress passed student loan provisions to prevent the interest rate on new student loans from doubling on Sunday. Without action, 7.4 million students would have been hit with the higher rates, and student debt would have risen by $6.3 billion in one year alone. With young Americans suffering from the highest unemployment rate of any other group, this action will help maintain the low rates and improve students' access to affordable education so that they can gain the skills to compete in the global economy."