Schilling Outlines Long-Term Transportation Priorities

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) today sent a letter to the Members of Congress responsible for resolving the differences between the House and Senate versions of legislation reauthorizing our nation’s critical transportation and infrastructure programs.   In the letter, Schilling notes the programs that support the priorities of the 17th Congressional District of Illinois’ residents.  ??"Our country as a whole is in need of a long, multi-year surface transportation authorization bill," Schilling wrote.  "This long-term certainty will allow our state departments of transportation to truly address our infrastructure needs and not push them off down the road until it is too late and too expensive.  Our country is closing in on $16 trillion in debt – totaling more than $50,000 per American.  We must invest wisely, while also coming to grips with our fiscal situation.  I would like to share with you some priorities from the people I have the privilege of representing.??In today’s letter, Schilling outlines his support a number of items, including:?

    •    Projects of National and Regional Significance:  “Projects that fall in this category are high in cost and large in scope and for that reason federal support is necessary for them to go forward.  These projects affect localities directly through economic development and more jobs."

    •    Maintaining existing passenger rail:  “Rail allows people and products to travel to and from all over the country, and from there to ports across the world.  While we must be careful to separate needs from wants, growth in our economy and long-term sustainability must always weigh heavily when making decisions on infrastructure priorities."

    •    The job-creating Keystone XL Pipeline:  “This pipeline and other projects like it can help ease global energy strains due to our reliance on oil from foreign countries.  ... This is a project that has the support of Republicans, Democrats, labor and business."

"Conventional wisdom is that Congress cannot get anything done, but in the spirit of Mark Twain, I believe that reports on the death of bipartisanship have been greatly exaggerated," Schilling concluded.  "After all, it was this Congress that advanced three market-opening trade agreements, passed the VOW to Hire Heroes jobs bill for veterans, passed the STOCK Act, passed a Defense Authorization that will benefit manufacturing and our industrial base, and passed the Jumpstart our Business Startups legislation.  These are all now the law of the land and were accomplished through bipartisanship.  Perhaps one of the best examples is the four-year Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization.  It took five years and 23 short-term extensions, but this Congress finally got the job done.  It should be the goal of this Congress to achieve similar success this year with a multi-year transportation bill." ?