Mar 21 2003

SENATE PASSES HIGHWAY AND TRANSIT AMENDMENT TO FY2004 BUDGET RESOLUTION

Highway Spending to Increase to $255 Billion and Transit to $56.5 Billion Over Next Six Years

The Senate today passed an amendment to the fiscal year 2004 budget resolution to increase the funding for the Federal highway and transit programs. Under the agreement, the highway program level will increase to $255 billion and the transit program level to $56.5 billion over the next six years. This increased funding will help to address the nation’s staggering transportation needs while decreasing congestion, improving safety and security, and helping to create jobs to stimulate the economy. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, (R-Ala.), an original co-sponsor of the measure, praised the passage of the amendment.

“I am pleased that my colleagues recognized the importance of increasing the funding for Federal highway and transit programs,” said Shelby. “This amendment is essential to provide for continued growth in the Federal investment in mass transit and highway infrastructure across the country. I believe it is critical that we invest significantly in transportation funding in order to address growing demand for new and safer roads and new and better transit systems for all communities. Our transportation systems connect America.”

Working with Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. Shelby said the amendment ensures that mass transit receives the historic 20 percent allocation of all new surface transportation funding.

Sen. Shelby said, “This allocation is particularly important because we have seen evidence that improvements in mass transit have stimulated economic growth and enhanced the quality of life for millions of Americans.”

The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), was passed by the Senate 79-21.