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The Highway Bill

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

The Highway Bill

Senator Mitch McConnell
Congressional Record: 114th Congress
July 22, 2015


Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I regret that yesterday's procedural vote on the multiyear bipartisan highway bill was not successful. It wasn't a vote to approve the bill; it was just a vote to agree to talk about it. We held that vote when we did because we wanted to give the House more space to work on it. But some Members said they wanted more time to review it before agreeing to talk about it, so we will take that procedural vote again later today. Because we are still determined to get this to the House in a timely manner, we expect to work through Saturday to ensure that we do.

Here are the key components of the legislation:

It is a bipartisan, long-term, multiyear measure that will fund our roads, highways, and bridges for longer than any transportation bill considered by Congress in a decade--and this highway proposal will do so without raising taxes or adding to the deficit.

It will give State and local governments the kind of stability and certainty they need to better plan road and infrastructure projects into the future, while also providing them with more flexibility in pursuing those projects.

It will instill real transparency and accountability into the funding process, so Americans can actually see where infrastructure tax dollars are going and how they are being spent.

It will help break the habit of Washington always looking to hike up the gas tax to fund its spending instead of looking for spending cuts and efficiencies first. Here is what we know about the gas tax: It hits hardest those who struggle just to get by, and too many Americans have been struggling the past few years. It is not fair to hit those Americans again with yet another unfair policy from Washington.

Some people might be a little shocked to see the Senator from California and me working across the aisle to put this bill together. Some might have been shocked to see President Obama and Republicans working together to pass important trade legislation for American workers or a Republican Senator from Tennessee and a Democratic Senator from Washington helping the Senate come to agreement on replacing No Child Left Behind. But my view is that if you can agree on a policy that is good for the American people, you should be willing to look past the ``D'' or ``R'' next to somebody's name in order to get it enacted.

Senators from both parties know that a long-term highway bill, which we have all been talking about for literally years, is in the best interest of our country, so we are working together to get a good one passed. Thanks to the dedication of both Republican and Democratic Senators and their staffs, I am hopeful we will.



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