FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 14, 2012
Contact: Trey Pollard- 202-495-3058
Breaking the Gridlock: U.S. Senate Passes Bipartisan Transportation Bill
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a transportation bill, taking steps toward modernizing our nation’s transportation system, reducing our dependence on oil and relieving the burden of rising gas prices. S. 1813 – Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) – was approved on a bipartisan vote of 74 to 22. This vote is the first critical step in replacing the outdated 2005 transportation program, SAFETEA-LU, which Congress has extended for two and a half years.
In response, Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, issued the following response:
“Today, the Senate finally recognized that moving our transportation system into the 21st century simply cannot wait any longer. We are long overdue for a new transportation policy and we welcome today's step forward.
“The Sierra Club applauds the bipartisan coalition that fended off the desperate attempts of big polluters to derail a bill that will put Americans to work rebuilding and improving our transportation system and will begin to reduce our dependence on oil.
“Although there is room for improvement, this bill takes important steps forward in repairing our existing infrastructure and investing in clean, convenient transportation options such as transit, biking and walking.
“At a time when Americans are looking for relief from high gas prices, this bill will increase access to public transit and make our roads safer for everyone, including bikers and walkers.
“Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Speaker Boehner’s transportation proposals in the House. While the Senate beat back the continued efforts of deep-pocketed big polluters to inject their political agenda into critically needed legislation, the House embraced them. We urge the House to stop playing political games and to take up and pass this forward-thinking Senate legislation that has already earned support from both sides of the aisle.”