Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member, issued the following statement today after the Senate voted 74 to 19 to pass the bipartisan House-Senate transportation conference report, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). This legislation provides $105 billion for the nation's surface transportation programs over two years, and it continues the current level of funding plus inflation through FY 2014. The House passed the measure earlier today with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 373 to 52. The legislative package, which also includes provisions related to student loans and flood insurance, will now go to the President to be signed into law.
Senator Boxer said: "On June 29, 1956 -- exactly 56 years ago today -- President Dwight Eisenhower started us on a path to a national transportation system, and today we saved that system. I couldn't be more proud of the overwhelming vote today. Our bill will save and create about three million jobs, provide a boost to the economy by rebuilding our roads and bridges, and make our nation more competitive. I want to thank my partner, Senator Inhofe, the Chairman and Ranking Members of the other committees that were involved, and leadership in the House and Senate for working together to finish the conference report."
Senator Inhofe said: "I am very pleased that the United States Senate joined in a bipartisan effort and overwhelmingly passed this job-creating highway bill. I have always said that the federal government has a responsibility to fund two areas: defense and infrastructure - and supporting this bill is truly the conservative, fiscally responsible choice. Our bill streamlines environmental review process for the long term, gives more authority and flexibility to the states to decide their own funding priorities, and eliminates or consolidates programs that are duplicative or do not further our national transportation goals - all things conservatives are proud to support. Chairman Boxer, Chairman Mica, and all the conferees deserve much praise for a successful conference that achieved bipartisanship at its best. I look forward to getting the bill signed into law as soon as possible."