Boxer calls highway bill compromise a 'victory'

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GOP leaders in the House claimed earlier Wednesday that the compromise was a victory for them because it included regulatory reforms that had been sought by the House and did not increase spending levels on transportation.

But Boxer said Wednesday that the deal was a win for Democrats because it will "speed up project delivery, cut red tape, and do it without jeopardizing environmental laws. 

"For the first time, we send half of the funds for bike paths and pedestrian walkways directly to local entities, and we protect those funds while giving states more flexibility on their share," she said of a provision in the agreement to allow states to opt out of bike and pedestrian programs.

Boxer said the overall economic benefits of the transportation bill outweighed the specifics of many of the individual provisions that were negotiated in painstaking detail by the 47-member conference committee she led.

“Our country needs the kind of economic boost that this bill offers, and I am looking forward to getting it to the President’s desk," she said.