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Courtney Votes for Five-Year Highway Bill

December 3, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Joe Courtney voted for a bipartisan measure to reauthorize funding for highway, bridge, transportation safety, and public transit projects over the next five years.  The $281 billion Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act passed the House by a 359 to 65 vote.  The measure also reauthorizes the U.S. Export-Import Bank for four years, which helps workers and businesses in Connecticut and across the nation compete in the global economy.

“The important highway funding measure guarantees funding for five years, and finally moves us away from repeated short term extensions that continually kicked our national infrastructure needs down the road,” Representative Courtney said.  “I strongly supported this funding bill as a first step, but our urgent national needs to rebuild our crumbling system of roads and bridges outstrips even the amount funded in this bill. We must continue to push for an adequately robust funding level that meets our infrastructure needs and provides a catalyst for jobs and economic growth.”

Additionally, the highway bill will increase dairy truck weight flexibility, which will allow Connecticut dairy producers to more efficiently transport product to processors—a measure Representative Courtney has long championed. Currently, dairy trucks operate with smaller loads or are forced to dump product to travel on Connecticut roads. This has been an ongoing concern in Connecticut’s Second District, and this change will place local producers on equal footing with surrounding states.

The conference report also:

  • Funds $10.2 billion for intercity passenger rail investment, including Amtrak, while providing $199 million in guaranteed funding to help commuter railroads implement Positive Train Control systems
  • Increases our nation’s economic competitiveness thorough dedicated funding for freight projects, including freight rail, for the first time.

“I was also very pleased to vote to reauthorize funding for the job-creating U.S. Export-Import Bank, which helps create a level playing field for Connecticut businesses competing for sales abroad.” Representative Courtney said.  “This completes a successful bipartisan effort to surmount the ideological opposition of House Republican Leadership who allowed the charter for the Export-Import Bank to expire and unilaterally disarmed American workers and businesses trying to compete in the global marketplace.”