Wednesday, December 07, 2011

House coalition backs transport package

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A bipartisan group of 111 House members announced Tuesday it is urging President Obama to support a six-year transportation authorization. A letter to the President states that “short-term extensions fail to recognize that meaningful, large-scale transportation projects take years to plan, approve and implement.” States and contractors need a long-term bill in order to execute large projects and repair the nation's crumbling infrastructure, the group says.

The letter, dated Dec. 5, was spearheaded by Rep. John Carney (D-Del.), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.). In all, 62 Democrats and 49 Republican House representatives signed the letter.

The letter also says “a modern, safe and efficient transportation authorization will not only create jobs now for the construction industry, but it will also set the table for long-term job creation and economic growth.”

The last surface transport bill, SAFETEA-LU, expired in September 2009 and has been temporarily extended eight separate times. The latest temporary extension is set to expire at the end of next March.