TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT: A LEGACY FOR USERS -- (House of Representatives - March 09, 2005)
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Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Chairman, I think this H.R. 3 legislation is a good illustration of the old phrase that politics is the art of compromise. We have heard a lot of people talk about things that they like in this bill. You will also here a lot of speakers talk about things they wish were also included in this bill. I certainly have that list myself.
But the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has a great tradition of coming together in this House, and that tradition has been maintained again today. I commend the leadership on both sides of the aisle for their efforts to work together in the common interest of providing investment in basic infrastructure in this country.
This has always been an important issue for this country, but in some respects it is becoming more important now as we are in an ever-changing world with an ever-increasingly competitive global economy.
I talk about that with my constituents back home, and sometimes they do not think what investment in a road out in Utah has to do with being competitive in a global economy. Then we talk about what it takes to move products around this country and the fact that other countries around the world are so aggressive in investing in their transportation infrastructure to make their economies more efficient.
This is good economic policy for our country. It is good investment. In the short run it is good for our economy, it creates a number of good jobs, but in the long run what it does is it develops an infrastructure that gives our economy greater efficiency, greater ability to compete, greater ability for us to succeed.
Now, every Congressman can tell you a story about what is in this bill that is important to their district. That is our job. This is the people's House. We represent a congressional district, and we need to advocate for the interests of that congressional district.
The major transportation route between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Denver, Colorado, is primarily a two-lane highway called Highway 6 in Utah, subject to many fatalities, one of the most dangerous stretches of road in this country. I am please that in this legislation this highway will be designated as a high-priority corridor. That is in our interests, to make sure we invest in that, because in addition to having an efficient economy, investment in infrastructure creates more safety on our highways. That is the other good aspect of this job.
Mr. Chairman, I commend the leadership of the committee for this outstanding bipartisan bill.
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