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Public Statements

Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. OLVER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, America's whole economy depends upon the efficient movement of people and goods. A modern, well-maintained transportation network is absolutely necessary for our economy to grow and the country to prosper, and its influence on the economy is staggering.

Our auto manufacturing industry and its enormous parts-supplier base, the national network of gas stations and its complex distribution system, and the oil industry itself all thrive because we have an efficient highway system that people need to use.

The physical construction of roads and railroads requires aggregate materials processed locally, steel trusses and rebar made by American companies and crews manned by American workers.

Our transit system supports the domestic manufacturing of buses, streetcars, and trains, while providing businesses with cost-effective access to the labor pool.

Furthermore, every good product produced or consumed in the U.S. must be transported via our network of roads, rails, and ports. As a result, the efficiency with which our system operates determines whether American goods can compete in the global marketplace.

Unfortunately, the 60-day extension Republicans offer on the floor today keeps our transportation system bogged down in a state of uncertainty. It slows down ongoing projects by only providing partial funding; it jeopardizes a major part of this construction season in northern States by hindering and delaying their ability to determine how many projects can be funded; and it shuts down the planning and design pipeline for future projects because they don't know what resources will be available.

Consequently, this being the ninth extension since 2009, State transportation programs are being forced to move forward only with projects that meet the lowest common denominator.

Mr. Speaker, if the Republican goal is to slow economic growth and keep unemployment high into the fall, this 60-day extension will accomplish that spectacularly.


Mr. OLVER. I can think of nothing that would be more effective at slowing economic growth and keeping unemployment high.

Mr. Speaker, there is a better option. Bring it to the floor and let us vote on the Senate's multiyear bipartisan bill that was passed by a vote of 74 22, with majority support from both parties.


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