WASHINGTON – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) released the following statement today after supporting the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 3763), a measure that funds Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs for six years:
“As I travel to and from Washington, D.C. every day from my home in Montross, VA, I witness first-hand the frustration that the debilitating traffic on our roadways causes. I’ve often experienced that exasperation myself as I sit bumper-to-bumper on I-95 with nothing but brake lights for miles ahead and consider the quality-of-life sacrifices that other Virginia travelers have had to make because of gridlock in Washington. I see disappointment on the faces of mothers and fathers who are missing piano recitals and baseball games as they sit helplessly at a stand-still. I see the stress and expense that small business owners have to contend with as they fail, through no fault of their own, to make scheduled deliveries. I’ve been there, and I know what a precious resource time is to families and businesses across the Commonwealth.
“The men and women of Virginia’s First District spend countless hours in transit, whether on the railways or the roadways, and they are ready for reform. Transportation funding is the number one issue that I hear about from both business owners and community leaders from Prince William County to Fredericksburg to Newport News. Gridlock in Washington can no longer contribute to the never-ending stream of traffic that our communities are forced to endure. I’ve consistently called for Congress to abandon temporary transportation extensions and pass a long-term highway bill so that we can establish a comprehensive plan for dealing with a variety of issues, including congestion, roadway maintenance and safety, and infrastructure development.
“This is by no means a perfect piece of legislation, and I do have some concerns that I would like to see addressed as this bill goes to conference. Specifically, I would prefer a fully-funded bill rather than one that authorizes funding for six years but only guarantees three years of funding. I also take issue with some of the funding mechanisms used to offset costs and with the inclusion of unrelated policy initiatives. I have said repeatedly, however, that I would like to see the House return to regular order, and with the introduction of more than 200 amendments and measured debate on the House floor, I believe that this bill reflects the will of the people. This is a continual process, but I am confident that this legislation is a significant first step in helping resolve the issues that have long plagued Virginia’s roadways.”
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