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Conference Report on H.R. 4348, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. HERRERA BEUTLER. Thank you, Chairman Mica. And I'd like to thank you and your staff for working tirelessly on this issue.

For the past several months, both House and Senate Members and staff have been working around the clock, and through tough negotiations we were able to work in a bipartisan, bicameral way to produce something that has direct impact on the lives of the folks I serve in southwest Washington.

I'm well aware the perception that this Congress is having difficulty getting things done, and I fought for us to stay at the table to keep working to push through for solutions to demonstrate our ability to put America's needs ahead of politics; and today, Madam Speaker, we were successful.

Particularly folks in my home district in southwest Washington State are excited that the House fought for vital reforms that are going to allow us to cut project delivery times down, even by half in some instances. That means dollars are going to go further, more projects are going to get done, and more money will be available for additional projects. That sets us up for more jobs.

We're also giving rural communities the necessary support to fund schools, emergency services, and roads while we come up with a more permanent solution that allows for increased and better forest management. My thanks to Chairman Hastings and his committee for their tireless work on this issue.

We also have projects of national and regional significance: the Recreational Trails Program that benefits trail riders, hikers, outdoor enthusiasts, all in my beautiful district down in southwest Washington.

We've supported using the Harbor and Maintenance Trust Fund for its intended purposes: improving our waterways that are economic arteries for places like Washington State and around the country.

Mr. Chairman, this bill is not perfect, no bill ever is. However, this is a symbol of how Congress is supposed to operate and why we're here.

With that, I urge its passage.


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