Shimkus votes for highway bill
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL-15) voted November 5 in support of the House version of the national highway bill.
The Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act was passed unanimously after more than 20 hours of debate and 126 amendments were added.
“With this highway bill, it’s great to be back working to build infrastructure and grow jobs,” Shimkus said. “From the heavy equipment to the men and women who operate them, this helps bring certainty.”
The bill would fund infrastructure building projects across the country over the next six years, although the current version only accounts for funding the first three years. If at least that much funding was approved it would still mark the first time since 2005 Congress has passed a transportation bill covering more than two years.
Shimkus said he was particularly supportive of the bill's streamlining of environmental permitting processes and a new pilot program that gives states the power to enforce their own environmental law first.
“By streamlining the permitting process, we again start reining in the EPA,” he said.
A majority of the bill is funded through state contributions, which match federal deposits into the Highway Trust Fund collected through gas taxes.