CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 3, SAFE, ACCOUNTABLE, FLEXIBLE, EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT: A LEGACY FOR USERS -- (House of Representatives - July 29, 2005)
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Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my strong support for H.R. 3, the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users. This important measure represents months of hard work and coalition building.
I thank Chairman Young, Ranking Member Oberstar, and Representatives Petri and DeFazio for their tremendous leadership during this time. I am proud to be a member of a committee that shows true bipartisanship and respect for one another.
As a member who represents one of the largest districts in the country, I see the immense needs across rural America. It was for this reason that I came to Congress--I want to make a difference for communities like mine, communities that don't always have a voice at the table. I intend to fight hard to make sure that rural Colorado gets its fair share of Federal funding.
I worked closely with my fellow Committee Members to craft a bill that truly represents the needs of all America. I urge my colleagues to vote for TEA-LU so we can finally put a bill on the President's desk for signature. By passing a transportation bill, localities can move forward with plans to build new roads, reinforce bridges, and invest in research and development to promote safer and cleaner technology.
Investment is the key word here--it is what this bill is all about. Infrastructure investment is the key to the free flow of trade. It is the key to connecting communities and promoting economic growth. And it is the key to stimulating jobs and industry development across the country.
This transportation report is a victory for rural Colorado. At a time when budgets are being slashed across the board, the communities in the Third Congressional District can expect a record number of federal dollars for our local highways.
The Transportation Reauthorization Conference report includes earmarks for important projects across the 3rd District of Colorado: $12 million for US-160, East of Wolf Creek Pass, $3.2 million for Dillon Drive Overpass, $6 million for US-50 State Line from Kansas to Pueblo, $5.2 million for the Glenwood Springs South Bridge, and $6 million for US-550 west side of Montrose.
By investing in our infrastructure now, we avoid problems down the line by reducing congestion and pollution, and improving safety on the roads. This funding will be a huge boost to economic development for the entire region. Nothing will make me happier than the President signing these rural development funds into law.
I am also pleased that the bill contains over $4.3 million in funding for bus and bus facilities across the third district. You don't always associate public transportation with rural areas but it is just as important in our communities as it is to larger urban areas. From Steamboat Springs to Crested Butte to Telluride, we are investing in the larger transportation system of a growing region.
Mr. Speaker, I once again would like to thank the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership and their staffs for their hard work on the bill we have before us today. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of TEA-LU. We have forced communities and state and local governments to wait too long for critical resources.
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