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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 2353, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015

Source: Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (PDF)

(Rep. Shuster, R-PA, and Rep. Ryan, R-WI)

With surface transportation funding authorization running out at the end of this month and hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk, the Administration does not oppose passage of H.R. 2353, recognizing that a short-term extension of these authorities will be necessary in order for the Congress to complete work on a long-term bill that increases investment to meet the Nation’s infrastructure needs. Unfortunately, H.R. 2353 represents yet one more short-term extension coming on top of the several short-term extensions that preceded it. This continuing pattern of uncertainty has already caused several States to cancel or defer projects during the height of summer construction season and has undermined the ability of States and localities to keep Americans at work building and repairing the Nation’s roads, bridges, and transit systems.

The President and Congressional Democrats have been very clear that increasing investment in the Nation’s infrastructure is a top priority. That is why the President laid out a vision for a 21st century surface transportation infrastructure, the GROW AMERICA Act, which would provide robust funding for all modes of surface transportation. The GROW AMERICA Act would also streamline project approval processes and implement innovative transportation policies that will make better use of taxpayer dollars while supporting millions of jobs, improving safety, and positioning the Nation’s economy for lasting growth. That proposal is fully paid for through existing revenues and by reforming the business tax system to help create jobs and spur investment while eliminating loopholes that reward companies for moving profits overseas.

The Administration is focused every day on what can be done to expand opportunity for every American. In today’s economy, that means building a first-class transportation system that attracts first-class jobs and takes American businesses’ goods all across the world. The Nation needs a multi-year authorization bill that makes significant and long-term investments in infrastructure. It is time for the Congress to end the era of short-term patches and chronic underinvestment. The Administration will not support continued failure in making the investments the Nation needs. The Administration expects that the Congress will use this two-month extension to make meaningful and demonstrable progress towards a significant bill in 2015. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress towards this end.

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