Rep. Lipinski, House Transportation Committee Formally Begin Work Surface Transportation Reauthorization

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3), the only northeastern Illinois member on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, today helped launch the first hearing on reauthorizing the federal surface transportation bill that provides funding for road, public transit, and rail infrastructure. The last bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), was signed into law in July 2012 and expires at the end of September.

“Today the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee started the important task of creating and passing a comprehensive, long-term surface transportation bill that creates jobs and invests in our future. I have long believed that transportation is the backbone of our economy, vital to improving the quality of life in our local communities and spurring economic growth. This is especially true in northeastern Illinois, which suffers from some of the worst congestion in the nation and is in need of major upgrades to its public transportation system.

“Unfortunately, there has been a constant struggle in recent years to pass a bill that does more than provide a short-term Band-Aid on the enormous infrastructure needs of our nation. There is plenty of blame to go around for this as leadership has been lacking on both sides of the aisle. But the American people don’t need a blame game, they need a robust funding bill with innovative policies that gives long-term certainty and allows our states and communities to adequately plan for their transportation needs.

“As we on the committee proceed with the hard work in the months ahead to build the framework for funding America’s road, transit, and rail projects, I will be working with all the stakeholders involved to address the tough choices we face. I look forward to working together to pass legislation that truly meets our region’s and our nation’s transportation needs.”

Rep. Lipinski has served on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee since 2007. He currently sits on the Aviation Subcommittee and the Railroads, Pipelines & Hazardous Materials Subcommittee. Last year, he co-founded the Congressional Public Transportation Caucus, aimed at addressing issues facing the country’s public transportation systems, including rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, and traditional bus service.

Also testifying at today’s hearing was Stuart Levenick, group president, Caterpillar, Inc., in Peoria. 

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