Conference Report on H.R. 22, Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015by Representative Richard M. Nolan
Posted on 2015-12-03
NOLAN. Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by getting the
attention of our chairman over there and thanking him for the terrific
job that he did, as well as our ranking member, Mr. DeFazio. It was a
real treat. It was, for me, a take-back to an earlier time when regular
order prevailed around this place.
Quite frankly, that is how you fix things and get things done. It is not always just a matter of attitude; it can be a matter of process. When you have a chair and a ranking member that welcome all members to bring their ideas before the committee, to have an opportunity to have them discussed, examined, argued, and debated, that is how you bring people together. That is how you fix things. That is how you get things done.
I would also be remiss if I didn't thank the staff, both the Republican and Democratic staff. You all worked so hard and late into the night and long hours, day after day, getting us to this point. I thank my own staff assistant, Eddie Wytkind, in particular, for the work that he has done on this.
With regard to the bill itself, you know, finally, after kicking this can down the road some 34, 35 times, we finally have the kind of long- term surface transportation legislation that people in this country have been crying for and begging for so that we could begin fixing the roads and the bridges that are falling down and the trains that have been coming off the tracks.
It is a good, nonpartisan piece of legislation that will allow our States, our counties, and our cities to plan accordingly. Of course, that brings with it greater efficiency.
It will put a lot of people back to work. Everyone has told us that infrastructure, transportation is fundamental to our ability to grow jobs, to grow our economy, and to strengthen business opportunities.
I am particularly grateful for our Duluth amendment that solves a particular little problem, but an important one, that we have there with regard to logging trucks on our Main Street.
Last but not least, I want to commend the leadership for including the reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank with this. As we all know, it is a great banking institution that helps us reduce the deficit and creates jobs throughout the country, including the Eighth District of Minnesota.
Thank you to all who were a part of moving this important legislation forward.