Congress agrees on $31.8 billion investment

News February 14, 2003
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Congress has reached an agreement concerning highway funding for FY 2003

Congress has reached an agreement concerning highway funding for FY 2003.

The spending bill's final language calls for $31.8 billion in spending on America's highways matches the Senate version of the spending bill, which restored funding to the same level that was approved last year. That figure is $4.1 billion more than what was included in the version approved by the House of Representatives and $8.5 billion more than the amount included in President Bush's original budget proposal, which called for a spending cut of over 30%.

Bush still has to sign the $31.8 billion spending level into law, but industry associations appear optimistic.

"This is a huge victory for the construction and construction equipment industries and the entire American economy, which will benefit from improvements in the infrastructure required to move goods to market as well as from the jump-start it will receive from manufacturing and construction employment," said Association of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater. "This sensible use of money consumers have already paid into the highway tax trust fund also will pay dividends for every American, who will enjoy safer and more efficient travel as a result."

"Maintaining highway investment is the right thing to do for American workers and motorists," said American Road & Transportation Builders Association President and CEO Pete Ruane. "It will protect more than 190,000 American jobs and allow the states to move forward in transportation improvement projects aimed at improving road safety and alleviating traffic congestion."

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