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Public Statements

Surface Transportation Extension Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding me this time.

First of all, I want to say that I certainly agree with and support the comments that he made on this legislation a few moments ago. I find myself in the same position, and I certainly want to thank him for the great leadership he has given me in his position as the ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I want to commend our great chairman, Chairman Oberstar, because all of us, Chairman Oberstar, Mr. Mica, myself, Chairman DeFazio of our subcommittee, we all would like to stop these extensions. Nobody wants a 3-month extension or any kind of extension. What we all want is to pass a major reauthorization bill.

I am in my 21st year in the Congress. I have been here for all of the major highway bills since I first was elected in 1988, and those bills have always passed with overwhelming margins and strong bipartisan support on both sides of the aisle, almost unanimous support.

Today, what you have, you have the Chamber of Commerce wanting a bill, you have the National Association of Manufacturers wanting a bill, you have the American Trucking Association wanting a bill, you have labor groups wanting a bill. I could give a whole long speech just naming all the different groups and people across this country that want a bill who say that we need it, especially with the economy in the situation it is in now.

So it is unfortunate that we have to talk about a 3-month extension or a 6-month extension. What we really need to be talking about is a strong, bipartisan highway reauthorization bill to help get this country moving once again and do all of the projects that have been getting backed up and are causing problems and delays all over this country.


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