Release: Transportation for America on the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021

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“It would have been better if they passed nothing”

A statement from Transportation for America director Beth Osborne on the surface transportation reauthorization bill passed today by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:

“We’re incredibly disappointed to see the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously pass—yet again—another highway bill that cements the broken status quo in place for decades. This bill attempts to solve the problems with the transportation system with small, underfunded new programs while spending way more to continue to churn out those same problems. 

“This bill is far from a down payment on the American Jobs Plan. In many ways it completely undermines it. The American Jobs Plan prioritized maintenance, climate, equity and safety; today the EPW Committee pushed those goals aside and passed a long-term bill that pumps billions into worsening these problems. 

“Neither Republican nor Democratic priorities are addressed in this bill. It wastes taxpayer dollars trying to achieve congestion relief and safety with tools that have failed for decades. It creates barriers to employment and essential services for many people, particularly carless households in rural America, low income households and people of color.  It allows states to opt out of lowering carbon emissions and continues to support strategies that are well known to raise them. In transportation, when bipartisanship is the goal, the broken status quo is the result. 

“We don’t have time for another five years of creating more problems that will take 20-50 years to solve.  We urge the Senate to engage in an open process to fix this bill or reject it and start again.” 

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