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Rep. Yarmuth: Fix Our Roads and Bridges Now

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the House Floor this afternoon, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) called on his Republican colleagues to stop blockinglong-term transportation and infrastructure legislationand work with Democrats on a plan to create jobs and rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

“Every American who drives a car, rides a train, or crosses a bridge knows we need to act,” Yarmuth said. “Our national infrastructure was once the envy of the world; in a lot of communities today, it’s an embarrassment.

“A strong, long-term investment in infrastructure provides states, cities, and businesses the certainty they need for the future. It will keep Americans safe and help commerce move more efficiently. And it will put tens of thousands of workers back on the job.”

The House is expected to vote today on a stopgap measure to fundthe Highway Trust Fund. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently warned states that absent Congressional action, states would experience delays in federal funding. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has already been forced to delay $185 million in highway projects because of uncertainty about the trust fund. Federal funding accounts for 40 percent of all transportation dollars in Kentucky.

This short-term legislation does nothing to allay broader concerns about the future of the trust fund, nor does it provide the certainty needed to plan and execute large-scale transportation projects. 

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Full text of Congressman Yarmuth’s remarks:

 

Madam Speaker, Republicans talk a lot about the need for the federal government to provide businesses with certainty so they can plan for the future. I agree with them. So why do they continue to block a long-range plan to fix our crumbling roads and bridges?

Across the country, 1 of every 9 bridges is structurally deficient, and the American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave our national infrastructure a grade of D+. In my District alone, 129 bridges have been deemed functionally obsolete, and 65 are structurally deficient.

Every American who drives a car, rides a train, or crosses a bridge knows we need to act. Our national infrastructure was once the envy of the world; in a lot of communities today, it’s an embarrassment.

A strong, long-term investment in infrastructure provides states, cities, and businesses the certainty they need for the future. It will keep Americans safe and help commerce move more efficiently. And it will put tens of thousands of workers back on the job.

Madam Speaker, we should take this opportunity to create jobs and certainty – for a change – and enact a multi-year transportation bill.