Rockefeller, Boxer & Johnson Call on Speaker Boehner to Restore Cuts to Transportation Funding

September 13, 2012

Acela TrainWASHINGTON, D.C.— In a letter sent today, Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV and Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Tim Johnson (D-SD), Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, wrote to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to oppose cuts to funding for transportation programs included in the six-month continuing resolution and called on Speaker Boehner to restore the funding for these programs in FY 2013.  The continuing resolution is expected to be voted on in the House of Representatives today.

The letter states that failure to honor the bipartisan, bicameral agreement in MAP-21 means a funding cut to highway, highway safety, and transit programs of over $620 million and the loss of almost 22,000 jobs over the year. These are funds that could have been used to hire unemployed construction workers to repair our roads and bridges and improve public transportation facilities or to enforce vital safety requirements for cars, trucks, and buses. The full text of the letter is below. 

Senator Rockefeller said:  “MAP-21 passed with overwhelming support from Congress and provided critical funding increases – fully paid for – to support the advancement of transportation safety in this country.  I’m concerned that shortchanging transportation in the CR will hinder implementation of new vehicle safety requirements.  The fact that the CR does not allow for the release of over $200 million allocated in MAP-21 for important initiatives to prevent drunk driving, reduce distracted driving, and more is especially troubling.  Congress agreed to provide these funds, and we must push to make sure they’re properly allocated.”

Senator Boxer said:  “When Congress passed MAP-21 it made a commitment to the American people that we would invest in our nation’s infrastructure at a time when our economy needs it most.  It is critical that Congress keeps this pledge and restores the MAP-21 funding levels so workers can be hired to repair and improve our transportation systems across the country.”

Senator Johnson said:  “The transportation bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, because everyone understands it will help create and support jobs when we need them most. Ignoring the agreed-upon funding levels will put tens of thousands of jobs at risk, and American workers simply can’t afford for Congress to renege on its commitments.”