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Conference Report on H.R. 22, Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015by Representative Cresent Hardy
Posted on 2015-12-03
HARDY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman and ranking member for
all their hard work.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the long-term nature of this highway bill.
After 35-plus extensions, the upper and lower Chambers of Congress are sending the President a 5-year highway bill. I want you to think about that. We haven't had legislation this long that provided certainty and confidence to our States in over 10 years.
Before coming to Congress, I was a general engineering contractor. I built those highways, roads, bridges, and dams. I also previously served on the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, and I know what it takes to invest in infrastructure.
I will be honest. These short-term patches would have been a disservice to our States and our districts. They need long-term certainty to build a master plan for the future.
Many may not understand the aspects of what it takes to actually build infrastructure in our Nation. It is not all about just going out and investing a dollar and going and building a highway, a railroad, or other infrastructure. It takes a lot to go through the NEPA process and the engineering processes before you can even get to the point where you can turn a shovel of dirt.
So we need to make sure that we find other funding mechanisms for the future. We need to start today and recognize that we need to plan for the future and invest in this country so it has quality infrastructure for our safety and the needs of this country.
While the funding mechanisms are not perfect, we are moving in the right direction and putting our Nation back on the path to prosperity. That is why I proudly stand here today as a conferee to support this long-term funding bill.