Ed note: The following is cross-posted from the Department of Transportation blog
Last night, the U.S. Senate followed the House and voted to extend authority for the Federal Aviation Administration and our nation's surface transportation programs to continue operating. Passing this legislation keeps hundreds of thousands of men and women on the job. For commuters, truck drivers, and air travelers, it will allow critical road, transit, and airport projects to move forward.
Our surface transportation law provides money to the states for thousands of transportation projects currently under construction around the country. The hundreds of thousands of workers on road and transit project job sites across America will all breathe a little easier this weekend without the threat of a shutdown looming over them. And our valuable professionals at the FAA will be able to go about their business of modernizing our airports and researching new and better ways to run the best aviation system in the world.
Now it's time for Congress to pass the American Jobs Act and put even more men and women back to work across the country. The American Jobs Act will help us build roads, repair bridges, and modernize our rails and runways, all of which are essential to boosting the economy and spurring economic development in communities from coast to coast.
When we put people back to work on transportation projects, we won't just get lower unemployment rates. We'll get roadways that are safer, bridges that aren't cracking beneath loads they weren't built to carry, and new bus and transit routes to spur development. We'll get reduced highway bottlenecks for America's truck drivers and fewer rail bottlenecks for freight trains. We'll get ports where containers can move from ship to truck or rail faster than ever before.
Our nation deserves a transportation network that once again allows American businesses to compete and win. I thank Congress for allowing the professionals at DOT to continue their important work. And I urge members to turn their attention to the American Jobs Act. Let's put people back to work.