senators working on reauthorization of federal highway and transit
financing recently announced a bipartisan agreement for a six-year
reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st century,
known commonly as TEA-21.
a result, a markup by the Senate Environment & Public Works
Committee is now slated for Nov. 5.
senators were James Inhofe, R-OK, James Jeffords, I-VT, Kit Bond,
R-MO, and Harry Reid, D-NV. They made the news public in a joint
a six-year reauthorization of TEA-21 is essential for job creation,
economic growth and expansion, and the nation's infrastructure.
We all agree that this legislation is a top priority for this committee,
and so we have worked together for several months to find common
expect to move this bill through the EPW Committee with a bipartisan
vote, and then proceed to consider it on the Senate floor as soon
as Congress returns to work early next year. It is our hope that
we can reach agreement with the House before the current extension
expires on Feb. 29, 2004, and send a bill to the president's desk
as quickly as possible," the senators stated.
John Horsley, executive director of the American Association of
State Highway and Transportation Officials, said the six-year reauthorizations
would help states avoid postponement of some $2.1 billion in proposed
transportation projects, saving 90,000 jobs in the process.
six-year bill will also give states the longer lead time needed
to plan for major capital-investment projects," Horsley said.
leaders have spoken of adjourning the first session of the 108th
Congress on Nov. 7. To keep highway, highway-safety and transit
programs in operation while work on a long-term bill is completed,
Congress has enacted a five-month extension of TEA-21, which will
expire Feb. 29.