[Cccnfbw] {Disarmed} Fwd: Response from Senator Murray

goldbeckjm at comcast.net goldbeckjm at comcast.net
Fri Jan 13 01:16:28 UTC 2012

Hello NFB Members, 

This is a response I received back from Sen. Murray regarding transportation funding.  I can't exactly remember what I emailed her about since it takes so long to get a reply, but I wanted to share her response with all of you since transportaton issues are important to all of us. 

Julie Goldbeck 

----- Forwarded Message -----

From: Senator at murray.senate.gov 
To: goldbeckjm at comcast.net 
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 1:22:47 PM 
Subject: Response from Senator Murray 


Dear Ms. Goldbeck: 


Thank you for contacting me about transportation funding and projects in Washington  state .  I appreciate hearing from you on this important topic. 


Commuters, businesses and families require a comprehensive transportation network that provides for the safe movement of people and goods.  As the Chair of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee in the Senate, I work hard each year to ensure that the U.S. Department of Transportation has the resources necessary to make key investments in our transportation infrastructure.   I have helped to direct funding to maintain and improve the interstate highway system, modernize airports, expand public transit in urban and rural areas, and invest in transportation research and safety programs. 


Throughout this year, I worked with my congressional colleagues to draft the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act of 2012 which passed the Senate on November 17, 2011 and was signed into law by President Obama on November 18.  The bill provides $55.6 billion in budget authority, and appropriates $109.4 billion in total resources, including contributions from the Highway Trust Fund.  This amount is slightly less than the funding provided in the FY2011 Continuing Resolution.    


In addition to annual appropriations for transportation, Congress is responsible for drafting transportation authorization bills which establish policies, programs and their respective funding levels for investment in transportation infrastructure.  In 2005, Congress passed the latest transportation authorization bill, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).  This legislation authorized federal funding for highways, highway safety, bus and rail transit, and specific transportation projects through fiscal year 2009.  Since 2009, the authorization has been maintained through a series of short-term extensions.  The current extension will expire at the end of March 2012.  


In the meantime, work is underway to draft a new authorization bill. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) bill, which would reauthorize surface transportation programs for two years.  MAP-21 would consolidate 90 programs into 30 to reduce duplicity in the federal funding of surface transportation.  It would authorize two years of funding at the current level plus the cost of inflation.  By focusing on core programs, the MAP-21 bill seeks to fund transportation projects while removing bureaucratic red tape.  Senate Majority Leader Reid indicated that this bill is one of his priorities for 2012.  


Last June, Representative John Mica (R-FL), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, released a separate six year proposal for a surface transportation reauthorization.  While I do not sit on the authorizing committees that will be responsible for crafting a new bill, I will be actively involved in working with leaders from these committees to ensure the bill establishes policies that will help meet the needs of our transportation system here in Washington state and across the country.  

We must continue to make the investments that will move our transportation system forward sustainably and efficiently, in order to ensure jobs and economic opportunities for communities small and large.  


As the 112th Congress continues, I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues and the Obama Administration to make prudent transportation investments and get our economy back on stable ground.  If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my updates at  http://murray.senate.gov/updates .  Thank you again for sharing your views with me, and please do not hesitate to contact me in the future. 

Patty Murray 
United States Senator  
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