Congressman Brendan Boyle Votes for Five-Year Highway Reauthorization Bill
Washington, DC– Today, Congressman Brendan Boyle (D-PA-13) voted with 359 Democratic and Republican colleagues in the House to adopt the conference report on Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act -- a measure that reauthorizes highway, bridge, transportation safety, and public transit projects for the next five years. The measure provides $281 billion in guaranteed funding for these programs over these five years. The measure also reauthorizes the critically important Export-Import Bank for four years, which helps American workers and businesses compete in the global economy.
“I am pleased to be voting for a long-term highway reauthorization bill today,” Congressman Boyle said. “For too long, Congress has passed short-term extension after short-term extension, leaving state and local governments in limbo and preventing many transportation projects from being built. By providing guaranteed funding for the next five years, this measure will allow critical infrastructure projects to go forward.”
“However, although I am glad this is a long-term bill, I am disappointed that this measure does not provide the level of investment needed to repair and rebuild our aging system of roads and bridges. Although this bill is a first step, it doesn’t do nearly enough. Democrats will continue to fight for more robust funding for highways, bridges, and transit – in order to fully address the challenge of our crumbling infrastructure. A more robust infrastructure program would create millions of jobs and generate faster economic growth.”
The conference report does include a number of key provisions, including:
• Boosting commerce and strengthening our economic competitiveness by providing dedicated funding specifically for freight projects, including freight rail, for the first time.
• Injecting $3.7 billion over five years into bus funding – a 75 percent increase over current levels. This will reduce traffic congestion, by providing more public transportation options.
• Authorizing $10.2 billion for intercity passenger rail investment, including Amtrak, while providing $199 million in guaranteed funding to help commuter railroads implement Positive Train Control systems.
• Increasing American manufacturing jobs by strengthening Buy America requirements.
“I am also very pleased to be voting today to reauthorize the job-creating Export-Import Bank,” continued Congressman Boyle. “For more than eight decades, the Export-Import Bank has helped level the playing field for American workers and businesses, big and small, to compete in the global economy. The Bank has created and supported hundreds of thousands of jobs over the years, all at no cost to taxpayers.”
“It has been five months since the GOP-controlled Congress allowed the charter for the Export-Import Bank to expire,” Rep. Boyle concluded. “That has been five months of lost economic opportunity. Reauthorizing the Bank is a key victory for hard-working American workers and businesses across the country.”