Lipinski Votes for Measure to Facilitate a Bipartisan House/Senate Compromise on Transportation Reauthorization Bill04/19/2012
Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski voted for legislation that will enable the House and Senate to finally go to conference and produce a bipartisan transportation reauthorization bill. Reauthorization legislation, which is part of Rep. Lipinski’s Five Point Jobs Plan, will immediately put people to work fixing our roads, rails, and mass transit systems, thereby reducing congestion and promoting long-term job growth.
"The bill we were forced to vote on today was by no means perfect," Rep. Lipinski said. "But everyone understands that partisan political games have made this a necessary step to get to a House/Senate compromise on the transportation bill. Having voted against an amendment to this bill that would weaken environmental protections, I will work to keep this problematic language out of the final legislation. However, I do support the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline as a step toward reducing our dependence on oil imported from unstable and unfriendly countries, and I am hopeful that the Senate will accept that language in conference.
"The best news regarding passage of this bill is that it marks the defeat of the partisan Republican bill that threatened massive cuts to local public transportation and significantly cut funding for Illinois roads. Having worked hard with a number of my colleagues across the aisle to make sure that those cuts did not occur, I am happy that we have succeeded. However, it is still very disappointing that the House did not pass a bipartisan, long-term transportation bill. I tried to work with Republican colleagues to develop a long-term bill, but in the end House Republican leaders failed to make a serious effort to involve Democrats and produce a bill that both parties could support.
"With two and a half years having passed since the last transportation reauthorization expired, it is imperative that we pass a good, bipartisan bill that invests in our roads, bridges, mass transit, and railway system. Congress should aim to do this in a matter of weeks, not months. The delays that businesses and individuals face due to traffic here in northeastern Illinois amount to a tax on our economy that we cannot afford. It’s time to provide the certainty needed to put people to work building long-term transportation projects that benefit our entire region and the country. The partisan games must stop, and Washington must focus on producing results for the American people."