In a joint statement today, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) commented on Governor Shumlin's letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) regarding the urgent need to restore the federal Highway Trust Fund.
In their joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: "Ensuring safe and adequate transportation infrastructure should not be a partisan issue, but unfortunately for some in Washington it is. The Highway Trust Fund is a critical asset for Vermont. It provides millions of dollars to repair our roads and bridges and creates jobs for thousands of Vermonters. We will fight to make sure Congress sets aside manufactured political differences so states continue to have access to these vitally important federal funds."
As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sanders helped write the current highway bill that has resulted in Vermont receiving more than $400 million in federal funding over the past two years for roads and bridges. Last month, at Sanders' invitation, VTrans Deputy Secretary Sue Minter testified at a U.S. Senate hearing on the topic. "I realize that the needs are great, and I am doing everything possible to make sure the new bill provides Vermont with the federal resources it needs," Sanders said.