Congresswoman Cheri Bustos Opening Statement at Transportation Committee Markup Session for Six-Year Highway Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — This morning, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos issued the following statement at the opening of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s markup session for H.R. 3763, the Surface Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015.

Good morning. I want to thank all of my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, for coming together today to advance the critically important, bipartisan Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 3763).

In the three years that I’ve been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and for many years before that, this body has relied on short-term extensions and patchwork fixes to fund our nation’s Highway Trust Fund.

During tours across my Congressional District where I’ve repeatedly called for a six-year highway bill, in meetings with manufacturers such as Deere & Co. and Caterpillar, and in discussions with business leaders throughout our region, one thing has become abundantly clear: The economic uncertainty that arises from failing to produce a long-term highway bill has hurt our economy and limited our ability to grow.

While I don’t think any of us is 100 percent pleased with this legislation, the overall bill takes us in the right direction.

First and foremost, this legislation provides the needed funding to get Americans back to work, building our roads and bridges. Additionally, by strengthening Buy America requirements, we are making sure that American manufacturers and American workers come first.

Reforms in this legislation will also improve workforce training programs to connect our workers with the skills they need to stay competitive in a global economy.

Additionally, for the first time, we are providing a dedicated funding stream specifically for freight projects, which will boost the movement of goods and strengthen our economy.

While I am sure that we may not all agree on every provision debated during today’s markup, I think the rest of the House could learn a lot from the model for bipartisan compromise that we are demonstrating today. I again want to express my deep appreciation to all of you for coming together on this bipartisan legislation to grow our economy.

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