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Bonamici Urges Colleagues to Pass a Transportation Bill Now

June 27, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1) submitted the following statement for the Congressional record today, urging her colleagues to pass a comprehensive surface transportation bill this week.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to urge my colleagues to work together to pass a comprehensive transportation bill before current law expires at the end of this week.  The First District of Oregon is home to some of the country’s most innovative thinkers, many of whom work at the technology giant Intel.  Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges of their workday often comes before it even starts, and continues after it ends: it is their commute.  The roads leading to the “Silicon Forest,” as the technology cluster in Oregon is known, can back up for miles—a good sign for the economy, but bad for our transportation infrastructure.  

The City of Hillsboro is home to many innovative tech companies.  When the City applied for a TIGER grant to improve mobility and reduce congestion in the Silicon Forest, I supported their application.  Infrastructure investments like this make it easier for people to get to work and they facilitate efficient transport of goods to market. This project wasn’t selected by the Department of Transportation, but the application highlighted an important point.  Investing in our transportation infrastructure is an economic multiplier.  Not only do we employ hard-working Americans by building and maintaining infrastructure, we also improve the productivity and vibrancy of the workers who rely on the infrastructure to get to their workplace every morning.  

Infrastructure improvements are important for safety as well.  The Portland metro area is nationally renowned as a bike-friendly community, and our companies attract highly qualified employees in part because of the safe, multimodal transportation network in our region.  Maintaining this infrastructure is critical to continuing to bring new businesses into our communities; investment in infrastructure will help to keep our roads and transportation routes safe.  

So now, even though virtually every elected official talks about jobs as a first priority, somehow this transportation bill is stalling.  We all agree that passing a surface transportation bill will create jobs.  Let’s do what is best for our constituents and pass a bill that keeps our construction workers on the job, reduces congestion for our commuters, and supports our struggling economy.”