Conference Report on H.R. 22, Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015by Representative John C. Carney Jr.
Posted on 2015-12-03
of delaware in the house of representatives Thursday, December 3, 2015 Mr. CARNEY. Mr. Speaker, I submit this statement regarding House passage of Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. With many reservations and a sense of frustration, I will vote for this bill. I believe in the bill's core goals--investing in our infrastructure and providing stability to our transportation system. The legislation raises funding levels to meet the needs of our crumbling roads and bridges and avoids the short-term patches that have plagued the bill for years. I'm also glad it's the result of a bipartisan effort, and supports infrastructure projects and programs like the High Density Transit Program and the Export-Import Bank.
That said, once again, Congress missed an opportunity. We had the chance to responsibly and sustainably fund our transportation system with real revenue sources. Instead, we cobbled together one-time funding sources that will put us right back where we are today when the bill expires: in the midst of a funding shortfall and a crisis. I had long advocated for funding our transportation bill by collecting taxes on corporate profits trapped overseas. This would be a step towards fixing our broken tax system and would discourage American companies from moving overseas. Doing so also would have provided a significant source of funding for the bill, and created the momentum to reform our international tax code. Instead, our tax code is still broken, and we no longer have the leverage of a must-pass transportation bill to fix it.
Passage of this bill means we're better off than we were before. States and local transportation agencies have the certainty they need to map out the infrastructure improvement projects our nation sorely needs. And our public transit system will be strengthened. I remain committed to finding a more responsible way to fund these programs and to fixing our tax system.