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We Need a Long-Term Highway Bill

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

We Need a Long-Term Highway Bill

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos
Congressional Record: 114th Congress
July 14, 2015

(Mrs. BUSTOS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mrs. BUSTOS. Mr. Speaker, I rise to urge my colleagues to take up and pass a long-overdue bill to fund our roads and bridges for the long term. Yet again, we are approaching the end of a short-term extension with the highway trust fund in danger of expiring at the end of this month. We can't keep kicking the can down the road. We need a long-term bill, and we need it now.

In my congressional district alone, there are 421 bridges that are structurally deficient. Just earlier this month, I stood alongside the Murray Baker Bridge in Peoria that runs over the Illinois River, the heart of my district. Its structure is in need of replacement.

Further northwest, where I live, there is the Interstate 74 Bridge. Just over the weekend, I stood alongside it. It spans the Mississippi River. It was built for traffic of about 40,000 cars. Today it accommodates about twice that many. In fact, former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood stood alongside that bridge and said it is the worst bridge he has seen in the United States of America.

The families I represent deserve better. The businesses I represent deserve better. We need to pass a bill, a long-term highway bill, and we need to pass it now.

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