Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Committee, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, today released the bill text for Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the nation's transportation programs for two years. Senators Boxer, Inhofe, Baucus and Vitter are all co-sponsors of MAP-21.
Senator Boxer said: "I am proud to be Chairman of a committee that has joined together across party lines to write a strong, job-creating transportation bill. I believe that our bill will not only protect the 1.8 million existing transportation jobs, but we will also create up to an additional million jobs thanks to the way our bill leverages federal funds. My deepest thanks to my Ranking Member, Senator Jim Inhofe, the Subcommittee Chair, Senator Max Baucus and Subcommittee Ranking Member, Senator David Vitter."
Senator Inhofe said: "I commend Senators Boxer, Vitter and Baucus for their work in striking the right balance on our highway bill, and I am pleased to join them as we unveil it today. Yesterday's votes on both the Democrat and Republican infrastructure bills showed that there is a strong bipartisan majority in the Senate that supports putting Americans back to work by building our roads and bridges. I look forward to working with my EPW colleagues to pass this bill - which is proven to help strengthen our economy and create jobs - in the committee next week."
Senator Baucus said: "Maintaining a strong transportation system is a proven way to create jobs and keep America strong and competitive, something we need now more than ever. Because Montana is a highway state, we know firsthand that the smart transportation investments in this bill will deliver big returns in construction jobs in the short term and they will support American commerce around the country and around the world for years to come. This is a bipartisan package everyone can support."
Senator Vitter said: "I'm encouraged that we've found an efficient way of addressing some of our most important transportation needs. The American people - and many American businesses - depend on reliable infrastructure, and I'm glad that we were able to find some common ground with this bipartisan bill."
The legislation maintains funding at current levels, reforms the nation's transportation programs to make them more efficient, and provides robust assistance for transportation projects under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program to leverage state, local, and private-sector funding.
Senators Boxer, Inhofe, Baucus and Vitter announced last month that MAP-21 will be marked up in the EPW Committee on Wednesday, November 9th at 10:00 am ET. The current surface transportation bill expires on March 31, and many groups, ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the AFL-CIO, have called for immediate action to reauthorize the nation's transportation programs.