Earlier this year in St. Paul, Minnesota, President Obama and I promised to present Congress with a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal, and with the unveiling of the GROW AMERICA Act today, we have fulfilled that promise.
The GROW AMERICA Act, or Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America, will do exactly what its name implies:
- It will support millions of American jobs repairing and modernizing our roads, bridges, railways, and transit systems;
- It will help ensure that American businesses can compete effectively in the global economy and grow; and
- It will pave the way forward by increasing access to the ladders of opportunity that help Americans get ahead.
I visited eight states and 13 cities as part of my Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour this month and everywhere I went, I heard the same thing –people want more transportation options and better roads and bridges to get them where they need to go. Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable andunaffordable.
GROW AMERICA offers the kind of job creation and certainty that the American people want and deserve. It represents a number of proposals that have historically attracted bipartisan support.
What GROW AMERICA will do
- Address the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund and provide $87 billion to address the nation's backlog of deficient bridges and aging transit systems;
- Create millions of new jobs to ensure America's future competitiveness;
- Increase safety across all modes of surface transportation, including increasing the civil penalties the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can levy against automakers who fail to act quickly on vehicle recalls;
- Provide certainty to state and local governments that must engage in long-term planning;
- Reduce project approval and permitting timelines while delivering better outcomes for communities and the environment;
- Bolster efficient and reliable freight networks to support trade and economic growth; and
- Create incentives to better align planning and investment decisions to comprehensively address regional economic needs while strengthening local decision-making.
I have been pleased to see that members of both parties are already working together to solve these challenges, and I look forward to continuing our discussion and to supporting and building on the good work that's already been done.
Please take the time to browse through our GROW AMERICA Fact Sheets to learn what this bill will do to keep our nation and our economy moving forward.