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SENATORS BOXER AND JOHNSON CALL ON HOUSE TO PASS BIPARTISAN SENATE TRANSPORTATION JOBS BILL

Current transportation authorization expires March 31st

March 15, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter sent today to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, called for the immediate passage of the bipartisan Senate transportation bill that saves or creates 2.9 million jobs and is fully paid for.  In the letter, Senators Boxer and Johnson cited the urgency of acting prior to March 31st, when the authority for funding America’s surface transportation systems expires.
Senators Boxer and Johnson copied the letter to all Members of the House of Representatives including a state-by-state chart showing the number of jobs at stake.
 
The letter states:
 
March 15, 2012
 
Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor:
 
Enclosed is a chart that clearly shows the number of jobs in every state that will be saved or created by the bipartisan Senate surface transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). 
 
This legislation passed the Senate yesterday by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 74-22.  There is an urgent need to get this bill to the President’s desk, because nearly three million jobs are at stake if Congress does not act by March 31st, when the current surface transportation extension expires.
 
Nationwide, MAP-21 sustains almost 1.9 million jobs, including over 55,000 jobs in Ohio and almost 40,000 jobs in Virginia.  MAP-21 also creates up to one million additional jobs through the expansion of the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, which leverages local funds to accelerate transportation infrastructure projects.
 
We ask you to immediately take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan transportation bill.  The reforms included in MAP-21 improve surface transportation programs by maintaining current funding levels for highways and public transportation, consolidating over two-thirds of all highway programs, eliminating earmarks, establishing a national freight program, improving safety oversight of public transportation, and instituting performance measures and accountability for transportation infrastructure investments. This bill is also fully paid for.
 
The surface transportation authorization bill is by far the biggest jobs legislation the Congress will take up this year.  It is imperative that Congress pass and the President sign into law this bill by March 31st, because the failure to act means that the nation’s surface transportation programs will be shut down.  The nation simply cannot afford these devastating job losses. 
 
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  We stand ready to help.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Barbara Boxer                                                             Tim Johnson                                       
Chairman                                                                     Chairman                                            
Committee on Environment                                         Committee on Banking, Housing        
and Public Works                                                        and Urban Affairs
 
cc: All Members of the U.S. House of Representatives