On Thursday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a press conference to announce they reached an agreement in principle to reauthorize MAP-21.
According to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairman of the EPW, who was joined by a group of bipartisan leaders, the principles agreed upon, include passing a long-term bill, as opposed to a short-term patch; maintaining the formulas for existing core programs; promoting fiscal responsibility by keeping current levels of funding, plus inflation; focusing on policies that expand opportunities for rural areas; continuing efforts to leverage local resources to accelerate the construction of transportation projects, create jobs and spur economic growth; and requiring better information sharing regarding federal grants.
"Republican President Dwight Eisenhower had the vision to set up our federal Interstate system in the 1950s, and I am proud to stand here today, united with my colleagues, to say that we intend to keep the promise he made to the American people — that we will always have a strong national transportation system,” said Sen. Boxer. "At a time when 70,000 of our nation's bridges are structurally deficient and less than 50 percent of our roads are in good condition, we must act, and that is what we intend to do."
The bipartisan group said they hope to move the bill to the floor this summer.