Highways, Bridges and Roads

LaHood thanks Congress for passing highway bill

{mosads}As recently as April, LaHood was pessimistic about the chances of Congress passing a multi-year highway bill before November.

“I wish I could say we’ll get a transportation bill (in the next six months), but I know we won’t,” he said then at a transportation event in Washington.

On Monday, LaHood said he was glad the road the congressional negotiations end up taking led to a different destination.

“Fashioning a national transportation law in the current political environment is no easy task,” he wrote. “We all agree that efforts to move people and goods safely and effectively are critical to our economic security. But we don’t always agree on how best to do that.”

LaHood noted that it had been more than 1,000 days since Congress had approved a new transportation spending bill.

“Congress extended that law several times while legislators discussed and debated what would replace it,” he said of the the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) bill that was originally supposed to expire in 2009.

“I’m happy to say that last Friday, 373 Members of the House of Representatives and 74 Senators voted in favor of a new law that will fund federal surface transportation policy through September 2014,” LaHood added of the final votes to approve its replacement, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) bill.

LaHood said Monday on this Twitter page that he planned to attend the signing of the transportation bill at the White House.

President Obama is expected to sign the transportation bill this week to avert an interruption in road and transit spending.


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