The American Highway Users Alliance is pleased that the bicameral Conference Committee has completed its work on the new two-year highway bill.
“We applaud the efforts and determination of Conference Committee Chairman Boxer (D-Calif.), Vice Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), the Members of the Conference Committee and the leadership of the House and Senate. We also deeply appreciate the hard work of all of the Congressional staff involved in weeks of intense negotiations,” said Greg Cohen, president of the Highway Users.
Cohen added, “After more than 1,000 days of delay, the new highway bill will go a long way to restoring public trust in a reformed and streamlined federal highway program that serves America well. Many will be surprised to learn that, despite the earmark ban, Congress still has the capability and interest in finding common ground on bipartisan, commonsense highway legislation.
“Major road and bridge investments are prioritized in this bill and they will have a positive impact on society, serving people in every corner of the country. These projects save lives, reduce congestion, lower logistics costs, improve quality of life and create long-term American jobs in nearly every sector of the economy.”
The bill will make significant reforms to the 21-year-old federal transportation program structure that had largely remained in place since the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991. It is expected to include provisions that consolidate and reduce the number of federal programs, establish performance targets in key areas of national interest, reduce waste and bureaucracy, streamline regulations and focus more funding on safety.