The two-party leadership of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee has introduced a 6-year bill to fund the upkeep and expansion of America's roads, highways and bridges. Whilst the bill is an increase over its predecessor, MAP-21, the NSSGA points out that the necessary funding sources require the Senate Finance committee to act.
The DRIVE Act increases highway spending from US$37.8 billion under the current MAP-21, to US$45.5 billion in 2021. Over 6 years, US$257.5 billion will be sent to the states.
Due to MAP-21’s numerous extensions and the uncertainty surrounding federal funding, many states have delayed projects due to questionable federal support.
Comment from NSSGA
“Finally, there is progress to put America’s infrastructure back to where it needs to be so we can grow the economy and create jobs,” said Michael W. Johnson, President and CEO of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA).
DRIVE Act will help set the tone for America’s economic future
EPW committee Chairman and Bill Sponsor, Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., added: “[t]he DRIVE Act will help set the tone for America’s economic future by putting our nation back on the map as the best place to do business.” He continued: “The DRIVE Act will provide states and local communities with the certainty they deserve to plan and construct infrastructure projects efficiently.”
“This is a solid first step toward a long-term highway bill, but the trickier part is for Congress to figure out how to pay for it,” Johnson said. “As our economy depends on an efficient, safe and well-maintained system of roads, highways and bridges, NSSGA’s number one legislative priority is to keep the pressure on Congress to enact a long-term and stably funded surface transportation bill.”
Adapted from press release by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/24062015/the-us-senate-introduces-bill-to-fund-highway-expansion-60/