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Senate Bipartisanship Yields Well-Crafted Highway Proposal

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Contact: Daisy Singh, daisysingh@highways.org, 202-857-1200

American Highway Users Alliance In Strong Support of Bipartisan “MAP-21” Plan

Today Highway Users President & CEO Greg Cohen praised Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.) and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works for working together to develop an outstanding federal-aid highway authorization plan.  The bill will be called “MAP-21” (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century).  With the support of Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member David Vitter (R-La.), the progressive Democrat and Conservative Republican found common ground on policy reforms and national priorities by negotiating behind closed doors for over two years.

“People need to see that even a divisive Congress can still deliver common sense legislation that gets America moving forward,” said Greg Cohen, President of the American Highway Users Alliance.  “There is no more obvious example of legislation that can boost the economy than a well-focused highway bill.  We applaud the Committee leaders for proving bipartisanship is possible and capable of yielding excellent results.”

The title under the Committee’s jurisdiction will maintain current highway funding levels, accelerate project delivery, eliminate earmarks and waste, and offer much more leveraging opportunities for the construction of major state and local projects.  The plan will also reform, eliminate, and consolidate dozens of “ISTEA-era” programs, many of which were created twenty years ago and considered by some to have clouded federal transportation priorities.   The Highway Users Alliance strongly supports the Committee’s efforts to set clear policy priorities, simplify and consolidate programs, streamline project delivery, and concentrate research funding on key national issues.

“Expeditious Senate approval of MAP-21 will result in a reformed, streamlined, robust highway and transportation program that will effectively improve the economy, reduce congestion, and save tens of thousands of lives,” said Cohen.

Cohen concluded, “The next step is to get the transit, commerce and finance titles completed.  Again, these are other opportunities to show that bipartisan cooperation on transportation is a traditional worth keeping.  We should make every effort to get the entire bill through the Senate as soon as possible so that a conference report can be negotiated with the House.  Both the Senate and House must act by September 30th to avoid the worst-possible outcome:  funding cuts without policy reforms.”

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The American Highway Users Alliance represents motorists, RV enthusiasts, truckers, bus companies, motorcyclists, and a broad cross-section of businesses that depend on safe and efficient highways to transport their families, customers, employees, and products. Highway Users members pay the taxes that finance the federal highway program and advocate public policies that dedicate those taxes to improved highway safety and mobility.

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