17,000 transportation jobs lost in April

Supporters of a new highway bill being considered by Congress have argued that passing legislation will boost employment in the transportation sector. 

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said in an interview with MSNBC on Friday that the job loss in the transportation sector made the case for passing the Senate’s two-year, $109 billion version of the highway bill.

“It is my real hope that when we get back to work this month, the House will take [the Senate bill] up and will pass it so that states and municipalities and counties all over the country can get folks to work this summer,” he said in the interview.

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The House has resisted Democratic pressure to accept the Senate’s version of the transportation bill for most of the year. The lower chamber instead passed a pair of short-term extensions of the current legislation that provides funding for road and transit projects, and lawmakers are scheduled to begin conference negotiations on the measure next week.

Coons said it was important for Congress to come to an agreement on transportation bill because “construction has been particularly hard hit." 

“And these are investments that will make our country competitive in the long run too,” he said.

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