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Baucus' Highway Bill Rolls through Finance Committee, Heads to Senate Floor

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Uploaded on Feb 8, 2012

February 7, 2012

***For Immediate Release***
Baucus' Highway Bill Rolls through Finance Committee, Heads to Senate Floor
Senator Passes Bipartisan Plan to Pay for Investment in Highway Jobs without Adding to the Federal Debt

(Washington, D.C.) -- Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus passed a bipartisan plan to responsibly pay for investments in the Highway Bill through his Senate Finance Committee today. As a senior member of the Environment and Public Work Committee, Baucus helped pass the policy framework of the bill unanimously through that committee in November. Together with the Finance Committee package that passed today, the complete two-year Highway Bill Reauthorization is expected to be considered on the Senate floor as early as this week.

The last Highway Bill, passed in 2005, brought more than $2.3 billion to Montana for highway construction projects -- a $7 return to Montana for every $1 invested -- and helped create and sustain more than 18,000 good-paying jobs across the state.

"Montana is a highway state, and we've seen firsthand that smart investments in our transportation system yield big returns for jobs and businesses. Every investment in a bridge is an investment in a good-paying construction job, and every investment in a road is an investment in a Montana business that ships good and services across the state and across the country," Baucus said. "This bipartisan bill makes smart investments in Montana jobs and American infrastructure, and it does it responsibly without adding a dime to the federal deficit."

Additional background:

• The current Highway Bill expires March 31, 2012 and many groups ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the AFL-CIO have called for immediate action to reauthorize the nation's transportation programs.

• The new Highway Bill Baucus is co-sponsoring maintains funding at current levels for two years, reforms the nation's transportation programs to make them more efficient, and provides robust assistance for transportation projects under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) -- a program to leverage state, local, and private-sector funding.

• Baucus' Finance package passed today ensures current resources are used effectively so that Congress can continue investing in the Highway Trust Fund without adding to the federal deficit. For example, the bill make sure that revenues from fuel taxes go back into the transportation system where they are intended.

• The Finance bill will be combined with the package Baucus helped pass through the EPW Committee as well as contributions from the Banking and Commerce Committees before being considered by the full Senate as soon as this week.

• The last Highway Bill, passed in 2005, brought more than $2.3 billion to Montana for highway construction projects -- a $7 return to Montana for every $1 invested -- and helped create and sustain more than 18,000 good-paying jobs across the state.

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