Lawmakers compromise on transportation bill

The Senate and House have negotiated a deal on a much-debated transportation reauthorization bill that’s expected to pass by week’s end.

Sen. John Mica (R-FL)

As reported by The Hill, the bill was combined with a student loan bill and flood insurance legislation in order to pass muster. Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican lawmaker from Oklahoma, told reporters to expect the deal before midnight Wednesday. Lawmakers were unable to draft a bill by that time, so in order to pass it by Friday they’ll need to forego a rule requiring three days to review legislation.

Congressman John Mica, a Florida Republican, issued a statement praising the bill’s impending passage.

“This agreement will help strengthen our nation’s construction industry and provide stability to highway, bridge and infrastructure projects across the country,” Mica said in the statement.

In March, President Obama signed a 90-day extension for the two-year bill that the Senate approved earlier that month.

Passage of this transportation legislation is important not only to the tens of millions of public transit riders, but to the economic health of this country. According to the American Public Transit Association, investing in public transportation creates jobs and also gives people access to jobs. Every $1 billion invested in public transportation creates and supports 36,000 jobs. Nearly 60 percent of trips on public transit are taken for work commutes.