McConnell sells Senate highway bill in Kentucky

McConnell sells Senate highway bill in Kentucky
© Francis Rivera

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.) is pushing for his long-term highway funding bill during the Congressional recess, even though it was ignored by the House. 

McConnell said in an op-ed published on Wednesday in the Kentucky business magazine The Lane Report that his multiyear proposal, known as the DRIVE Act, "would provide three years of guaranteed funding for interstate highway projects without raising taxes or adding to the deficit." 

The majority leader predicted the House would be more willing to take up the long-term highway bill when lawmakers return to Washington in September. 

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"The bill’s Senate passage is a win for Kentucky drivers and is just the latest example of how a new Republican majority has gotten the Senate back to work and functioning for the American people," he said. "The House of Representatives is now developing similar legislation so both chambers can agree on a final, long-term bill to send to the president’s desk." 

McConnell's pitch for a long-term highway bill came up short as lawmakers were scrambling to beat a July 31 deadline for renewing federal transportation funding. 

The measure was approved by the Senate, but the House refused to take it up, forcing the upper chamber to settle for a three-month temporary extension that expires in October. 

McConnell said he will continue pushing for a long-term highway funding solution when lawmakers return to Washington. 

"For too long, Congress has failed to fund our nation’s highways with long-term goals in mind, but instead has passed only short-term funding bills," he wrote. "Major infrastructure projects like roads and bridges, however, take years to build. Without the certainty of long-term legislation, states find it difficult to plan for and undertake these kinds of projects.

"I’m pleased I was able to get this important bill passed in the Senate and I look forward to the House acting soon on similar legislation that will benefit Kentucky and the nation," he continued. "With a long-term highway bill like the DRIVE Act signed into law, we can rebuild our infrastructure, ease growing congestion, and improve traffic safety for Kentuckians. We can support jobs and boost the economy. And we can keep Kentuckians moving safely and efficiently over our state’s roads and bridges."