Following Tuesday’s 367 to 55 House passage of H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-1) said the legislation allows Congress to work on an improved, long-term bill.
Crawford said Congress had an immediate need to address the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, which was due to run out August 1. The new act extends federal surface transportation programs and ensures the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund through May 2015.
“My House colleagues on both sides of the aisle recognized the importance of having a solvent Trust Fund, while addressing it in a responsible manner,” Crawford said. “If Congress had failed to act, thousands of transportation projects — including 15 major projects in the First District — would have fallen to the wayside.”
Crawford said Arkansas’ First District relies heavily upon U.S. highway and interstate systems. Allowing the Highway Trust Fund to become insolvent would have serious implications, he said.
“The First District is primarily rural, and our residents often travel many miles before reaching their destinations.” Crawford said. “Businesses, travelers, and families all need access to good roads, and the Highway Trust Fund plays a big role to make sure that happens.”
The bill now travels to the Senate, where Crawford encouraged its swift passage.
“I hope the Senate pushes quickly to get this bill passed and to the President,” Crawford said. “Doing so is not an admission that Congress has shelved a long-term bill. Rather, it’s a statement that we must work now to craft multi-year legislation protecting our country’s road systems and the jobs that depend upon them, while not losing sight of our need for fiscal responsibility.”