Congress passes highway funding bill, removing uncertainty for Georgia

[private]With just one day to spare before funding expired, Congress passed the final version of a bill Thursday that will provide $305 billion over the next five years for highway and transit projects.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the measure quickly, which would remove a cloud that’s been hanging over highway construction projects in Georgia.

The Georgia Department of Transportation had stopped issuing contracts for road projects until Congress agreed to a long-term extension of the highway funding act, something that had been in doubt all year.

The House voted 359-65 and the Senate followed with an 83-16 vote to pass the bill and send it to the president.

Thirteen of Georgia’s 14 House members voted for the highway bill, with the only negative vote coming from Rep. Jody Hice. Sen. Johnny Isakson voted for it while Sen. David Perdue voted no.

“The need for a responsible, long-term vision for our nation’s roads, bridges, and transportation infrastructure isn’t a partisan issue,” said Rep. Woodall, a Gwinnett County Republican. “The big things take time, and are often difficult to get across the finish line, but when the American people get involved in the process, good things happen.”

“After far too many short-term patches, this long-term, bipartisan legislation is a victory for commuters, businesses, and road builders because it finally provides much-needed certainty for state and local transportation projects,” Isakson said.

Perdue, on the other hand, lashed out at the bill as a “budget gimmick.”

“Georgians expected the Senate to spend the past three months developing a serious long-term solution that responsibly fixes our highway-funding problem,” Perdue said.

“Instead, in typical Washington fashion, we’ve been given a highway bill that relies on mythical savings and includes multiple unrelated items that merit separate debate,” Perdue said.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report



Tags: Barack Obama , Congress , DOT , highway funding