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Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PASCRELL. I thank the ranking member, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank our chairman, our ranking member who was just here a few moments ago.

It is ironic, as I said earlier today, when we take up the transportation and infrastructure legislation that, just a few hours ago, the champion of transportation and infrastructure passed away. He was the chairman of the Transportation Committee. At that time, it was the Public Works Committee. He left the Congress in 1992, so it is ironic.

Mr. Chairman, through the Speaker, you have to understand the frustration that exists on both sides of the aisle on this legislation. We know what is needed. We know what is going to happen by the end of August. Many projects throughout the United States of America will just shut down or begin to shut down. Bills will not be paid. That is not good. That is not acceptable.

On the other hand, when the dust settles, the very committee that we represent, where everything goes through--the Ways and Means Committee--will have voted for close to $1 trillion when the dust settles, unpaid for, permanent tax cuts, many of which are never meant to be permanent. Check the Record.

So we can do this and add $1 trillion to the deficit, and we can't come up with a bipartisan 5-year or 6-year transportation plan for our roads?

Let's wait until the bridges fall down. Then we will do something about it.

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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, estimates as to how much we need to invest simply to maintain and repair our existing surface transportation system run as high as $177 billion per year. The actual capital spending in 2012 was only $103 billion.

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