|00:00:00||COMMON SENSE, THE AMERICAN PATRIOT THOMAS PAYNE ROTE IN 1776 AS FOLLOWS: THE LAND HOLDER, THE FARMER, THE MANUFACTURER, THE MERCHANT, THE TRADESMAN IN EVERY OCCUPATION PROSPERS BY AID WHICH EACH RECEIVES FROM THE OTHER AND FROM THE WHOLE.|
|00:00:18||COMMON INTEREST REGULATES THEIR CONCERNS AND FORMS THEIR LAW.|
|00:00:24||COMMON INTERESTS PRODUCES COMMON SECURITY.|
|00:00:30||IN THE 240 YEARS SINCE PAYNE HELPED DEFINE WHO WE ARE AS AMERICANS, OUR TRANSPORTATION HAS BECOME THE CORNERSTONE OF COMMON INTEREST.|
|00:00:41||THERE ARE FEW THINGS UNDER THE SUN THAT ARE NOT IMPACTED BY OUR HIGHWAYS, ROADS, BRIDGES AND TRANSIT SYSTEMS.|
|00:00:50||YET WE CAN TOO EASILY TAKE OUR NETWORK FOR GRANTED.|
|00:00:53||THE RECENT ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION SURVEY FOUND THAT TWO-THIRDS OF ALL RESPONDENTS BELIEVE AMERICA SHOULD INVEST MORE IN INFRASTRUCTURE.|
|00:01:03||IT'S A COMMON INTEREST.|
|00:01:04||THAT SAME SURVEY FOUND THAT TWO-THIRDS OF ALL AMERICANS BELIEVE THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY ANY MORE FOR THIS INCREASE IN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT.|
|00:01:16||THAT MEANS WE HAVE TO RISE TO THE CHALLENGE IN CONGRESS TO COME UP WITH A HIGHWAY BILL THAT INVESTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE WITHOUT ASKING FOLKS TO PAY MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE.|
|00:01:26||ACCORDING TO THE UNITED STATES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE'S TRANSPORTATION PEFORMANCE INDEX, WE COULD LOSE NEARLY $340 BILLION IN POTENTIAL ECONOMIC GROWTH OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS IF WE DO NOT PASS THE HIGHWAY PROVIDE TO PROVIDE THE CERTAINTY OUR ECONOMY NEEDS.|
|00:01:43||LET ME MAKE THAT STATEMENT AGAIN.|
|00:01:46||WE COULD LOSE $340 BILLION IN POTENTIAL ECONOMIC GROWTH OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS IF WE DO NOT PASS THE HIGHWAY BILL TO PROVIDE THE CERTAINTY OUR ECONOMY NEEDS.|
|00:01:56||OUR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM DEPENDS ON SUBSTANTIAL INVESTMENTS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.|
|00:02:02||THIS INVESTMENT CONSISTENTLY YIELDS A BIG RETURN FOR AMERICAN JOBS.|
|00:02:08||IN MY HOME STATE OF MONTANA, THE LAST HIGHWAY BILL CREATED OR SUSTAINED MORE THAN 18THOUSAND 18THOUSAND -- 18,000 GOOD PAYING JOBS AND NATIONWIDE PUT APPROXIMATELY 35,000 PEOPLE TO WORK.|
|00:02:27||THESE ARE NOT JUST STATISTICS.|
|00:02:32||THESE NUMBERS REPRESENT FAMILIES ABLE TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE.|
|00:02:35||THEY'RE GOOD JOBS.|
|00:02:37||THESE NUMBERS REPRESENT SMALL BUSINESSES ABLE TO ATTRACT NEW KES PHERS.|
|00:02:45||I KNOW THESE TYPE OF INVESTMENTS WORK BECAUSE I SPENT A DAY WORK ALONGSIDE A ROAD CONSTRUCTION CREW.|
|00:02:54||THEY SHOWED ME THE ROOTS OF RUNNING AN EXCAVATOR.|
|00:02:58||I MIGHT SAY, MR.|
|00:03:00||PRESIDENT, ALL I HAD TO DO WAS GET IN THE GRADER AND GO FORWARD.|
|00:03:04||IT IS GUIDED BY A G.|
|00:03:08||P.S. SYSTEM. IT RAISED THE BLADE, TURNED THE BLADE, TILTED THE BLADE EXACTLY THE RIGHT LOCATION.|
|00:03:14||IT WAS A PERFECT LINE I MADE DOWN THAT ROAD, WHEREAS IF I TO DO IT BY MYSELF, IT WOULD BE A MESS.|
|00:03:23||THE G.P.S. SYSTEM MADE IT WORK.|
|00:03:24||DURING THE WORK DAY, I TALKED WITH ABOUT A DOZEN WORKERS WHO SAID THEIR FAMILIES DEPENDED ON THE PROJECT FOR THEIR LIVELIHOOD.|
|00:03:32||THEIR WORK ALSO HAD A MAJOR IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY BECAUSE AMSTERDAM ROAD IS ONE OF THE MOST TRAVELED ROADS IN THE AREA.|
|00:03:39||INVESTING IN OUR INFRASTRUCTURE -- IN OUR TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE IS INVESTING IN OUR FAMILIES AND OUR ECONOMY.|
|00:03:46||IT'S AN INVESTMENT T.|
|00:03:52||-- IT YIELDS GREAT RETURNS.|
|00:03:54||THIS BILL SEEKS TO MAINTAIN THAT INVESTMENT FOR 2013.|
|00:03:58||THAT IS THE BILL WE'LL BE WORKING ON AND IS THE UNDERLYING BILL BEFORE US TODAY.|
|00:04:04||NOT THE BLUNT AMENDMENT.|
|00:04:06||THE UNDERLYING BILL.|
|00:04:07||I PREFER A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME ON THE UNDERLYING BILL TO PROVIDE GREATER CERTAINTY.|
|00:04:13||WE'RE ALREADY TWO YEARS PAST DUE.|
|00:04:15||WE'VE HAD LOTS OF EXTENSIONS.|
|00:04:17||WE MUST WORK TOGETHER NOW TO GET SOMETHING DONE, AT LEAST UNTIL THE END OF NEXT YEAR.|
|00:04:22||A TWO-YEAR BILL PROVIDES THE COMPROMISE WE NEED TO GET THERE.|
|00:04:26||I'VE WORKED ON THIS BILL FOR ABOUT FOUR YEARS ON TWO DIFFERENT SENATE COMMITTEES.|
|00:04:33||THE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE WHICH PROVIDED THE AUTHORIZATION FOR ROADS, HIGHWAYS, BRIDGES AND VARIOUS FORMS OF NONMOTORIZED TRANSPORTATION.|
|00:04:42||AND THE FINANCE COMMITTEE WHICH PROVIDED THE MONEY SO WE CAN HAVE THE PROCEEDS AND THE RESOURCES TO PAY FOR THESE HIGHWAYS.|
|00:04:51||FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF INVESTMENT, I CAN TELL YOU FIRSTHAND THAT THIS BILL SPECIFICALLY FOCUSES ON THOSE PROGRAMS THAT ARE TRULY A SHARED NATIONAL INTEREST.|
|00:05:01||IT CONSOLIDATES NEARLY 90 ROAD PROGRAMS DOWN TO APPROXIMATELY 30.|
|00:05:07||CONSOLIDATING 90 LOTS OF INDIVIDUAL, SEPARATE PROGRAMS WHICH TEND TO DIVIDE OUR COUNTRY.|
|00:05:14||CONSOLIDATED THOSE DOWN TO 30.|
|00:05:17||30 PROGRAMS THAT RELY ON THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND.|
|00:05:20||THIS BILL ALSO FOCUSES ON DRAMATICALLY IMPROVING OUR NATIONAL CAPACITY FOR DATA GATHERING AND DATA SHARING.|
|00:05:28||DESPERATELY NEEDED, MR.|
|00:05:31||PRESIDENT. WE SOUGHT TO ENABLE STATES TO ADDRESS SAFETY, MOBILITY DIFFICULTIES BY SEEING WHAT SOLUTIONS WORK IN THEIR STATES.|
|00:05:38||MORE DATA WILL HELP THEM BETTER ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS.|
|00:05:41||FOR EXAMPLE, WHY IN SOME STATES, MY STATE OF MONTANA, IS THE HIGHWAY FATALITY RATE TWO AND A HALF TIMES THE NATIONAL AVERAGE.|
|00:05:49||THE IDEA IS WHAT ARE THE REAL REASONS?|
|00:05:53||WE NEED DATA TO FIND OUT.|
|00:05:54||THIS BILL CREATES FOR THE FIRST TIME A DEDICATED FREIGHT PROGRAM TO ADDRESS INTERSTATE COMMERCE.|
|00:06:00||OF THE BILL EXTENDS A PROGRAM CALLED TIP I -- TIFIA, A LENDING PROGRAM FOR INVESTMENT.|
|00:06:11||AND HISTORY TELLS US THAT EVERY $1 WE PUT IN CAN LEVERAGE $30 IN PRIVATE-SECTOR INVESTMENT.|
|00:06:18||THIS BILL, MR.|
|00:06:20||PRESIDENT, HAS NO EARMARKS.|
|00:06:24||SENATORS BOXER, INHOFE, VITTER AND I WORKED HARD TO ACHIEVE TKPWRAEFPLTS.|
|00:06:30||I THANK -- ACHIEVE AGREEMENTS.|
|00:06:37||I ESPECIALLY WANT TO APPLAUD CHAIRMAN BOXER AND RANKING MEMBER INHOFE FOR THEIR LEADERSHIP.|
|00:06:42||THEY WORKED VERY HARD AND THEY WORKED TOGETHER.|
|00:06:45||SOMETIMES PEOPLE THINK WASHINGTON CAN'T WORK TOGETHER.|
|00:06:47||LET ME TELL YOU, MR.|
|00:06:48||PRESIDENT, I'VE WORKED THESE TWO PEOPLE WORK VERY CLOSELY TOGETHER.|
|00:06:52||THEY'RE A TEAM TO GET A HIGHWAY BILL HERE BEFORE THE SENATE.|
|00:06:55||NEXT, FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE, THE BILL PROVIDES THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND WITH SUFFICIENT FUNDING TO LAST AT LEAST UNTIL THE END OF FISCAL 2013.|
|00:07:08||THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND DOES NOT BRING IN TPHREUF KNEW FROM THE -- REVENUE FROM THE TRADITIONAL FUNDING SOURCES SUCH AS THE FUEL TAX TO MEET OUR NATIONAL NEEDS.|
|00:07:19||AS A RESULT, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ON THE COMMITTEE HAD TO LOOK ELSEWHERE TO ENSURE IN THE SHORT TERM THAT WE COULD MAINTAIN CURRENT LEVELS OF FEDERAL INVESTMENT.|
|00:07:31||IN THE LONG TERM WE SHOULD USE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DECIDE WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR TRANSPORTATION NETWORK IN THE 21st CENTURY.|
|00:07:38||WE'RE GOING TO PASS THE SHORT-TERM BILL.|
|00:07:41||WHILE WE'RE PASSING A SHORT-TERM BILL, WE HAVE TO GIVE A LOT OF THOUGHT WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO IN THE LONG TERM.|
|00:07:46||WE SHOULD USE THAT OPPORTUNITY TO DECIDE WHAT MAKES MOST SENSE FOR THE 21st CENTURY.|
|00:07:51||WHEREVER WE CAN APPLY UNUSED FUEL TAX MONEY THAT CURRENTLY GOES TO LEAKING UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK TRUST FUND SURPLUS, WE DID SO WITH SUPPORT FROM DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS.|
|00:08:04||WHERE WE TRANSFERRED MONEY IN THE GENERAL FUND TO THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND, WE SOUGHT TO BACKFILL THE GENERAL FUND BY CLOSING TAX GAPS OR FOCUSING ON TAX LAWS.|
|00:08:16||IT'S IMPORTANT WE MAKE SURE THE HIGHWAY STAY FOCUSED ON SUPPORTING THE ECONOMY.|
|00:08:20||IN MONTANA, OUR HIGHWAYS ARE A LIFELINE.|
|00:08:24||WE'RE A HIGHWAY STATE.|
|00:08:25||WE LOG A LOT OF HOURS BEHIND THE WHEEL.|
|00:08:29||IT IS PART OF WHO WE ARE.|
|00:08:31||WE ARE THE FOURTH-LARGEST STATE IN THE NATION FOR LAND MASS.|
|00:08:34||WE HAVE FEWER RESIDENTS THAN RHODE ISLAND, THE SMALLEST STATE IN SIZE.|
|00:08:43||AS MY FRIENDS AND FORMER SENATOR MIKE MANSFIELD SAID IN 1967 -- QUOTE -- "MONTANAANS ARE FORMED BY A VASTNESS OF A STATE AS MOUNTAINS RISE TO 12,000 FEET IN GRANITE PHAFS, PILED ONE UPON THE OTHER AS THOUGH BY SOME GIANT HAND.|
|00:09:01||TO DRIVE ACROSS THE STATE IS TO JOURNEY IN DISTANCES FROM WASHINGTON, D.|
|00:09:05||C. NORTH TO TORONTO OR SOUTH TO FLORIDA.|
|00:09:12||WE CAN ACCOMMODATE VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, DELAWARE, PENNSYLVANIA AND NEW YORK AND STILL HAVE ROOM FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.|
|00:09:19||YET, IN ALL THIS VASTNESS, WE'RE LESS THAN A MILLION PEOPLE.|
|00:09:24||A FEW WEEKS AGO WE JUST TIPPED THE NEEDLE OF ONE MILLION RESIDENTS.|
|00:09:29||I MIGHT SAY, MR.|
|00:09:30||PRESIDENT, WE'RE NOT SURE WE'RE HAPPY ABOUT THAT.|
|00:09:34||SOME OF US WANTED TO BE UNDER A MILLION IN POPULATION.|
|00:09:37||SOME KIND OF LIKE BEING A MILLION.|
|00:09:39||IT'S A BIG DEBATE IN OUR STATE.|
|00:09:41||SHOULD WE BE ONE MILLION OR LESS.|
|00:09:46||NEVERTHELESS WE LACK THE INVESTMENTS FOR ROADS BY OURSELVES.|
|00:09:54||MONTANA COULDN'T SUPPORT THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM.|
|00:09:57||WE DON'T HAVE THE PEOPLE.|
|00:09:59||WITH MORE THAN TEN MILLION VISITORS ANNUALLY AND WITH THE MAJORITY OF OUR TRUCK TRAFFIC ORIGINATING AND ENDING OUT OF STATE, WE RELY ON THE FEDERAL PROGRAM WITH GOOD REASON.|
|00:10:09||IT IS IN OUR COMMON INTEREST, THE INTEREST OF MONTANA, THE INTEREST OF ALL THOSE FOLKS WHO TRANSPORT ACROSS OUR STATE, THE INTEREST OF THOSE WHO VISIT GLACIER PARK, YELLOWSTONE PARK.|
|00:10:24||IT IS THE COMMON INTEREST.|
|00:10:25||I'M HERE TO SAY, MR.|
|00:10:26||PRESIDENT, THE MORE WE KEEP OUR EYE ON THE BALL, IT IS A TRANSPORTATION BILL THAT KEEPS OUR COMMON INTERESTS IN MIND, THE MORE SUCCESSFUL WE'LL BE.|
|00:10:38||MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK CONSENT THE FOLLOWING STAFF BE ALLOWED ON THE SENATE FLOOR FOR THE DURATION OF THE DEBATE OF S.|
|00:10:46||1813: YOHANAS ETCHAVARY, EDWARD TORRES, ELIZABETH SAMSON, AMANDA SUMMERS AND DANIELLE|
Mr. BAUCUS. In ``Common Sense,'' the American patriot Thomas Paine wrote in 1776 as follows: The landholder, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the tradesman, and every occupation, prospers by the aid which each receives from the other, and from the whole. Common interest regulates their concerns, and forms their law. Common interest produces common security.
In the 240 years since Paine's pamphlet helped define who we are as Americans, our transportation system has become the cornerstone of our common interest. There are few things under the Sun that are not impacted by our highways, our roads and bridges, and our transit systems, yet we can too easily take our network for granted.
A recent Rockefeller Foundation survey found that two-thirds of all respondents believe America should invest more in infrastructure. It is a common interest. That same survey found that two-thirds of all Americans believe they should not have to pay any more for this increase in infrastructure investment. That means we have to rise to the challenge in Congress to come up with a highway bill that invests in infrastructure without asking folks to pay more than their fair share.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Transportation Performance Index, we could lose nearly $340 billion in potential economic growth over the next 5 years if we do not pass a highway bill and provide the certainty our economy needs. Let me make that statement again. We could lose $340 billion in potential economic growth over the next 5 years if we do not pass a highway bill and provide the certainty our economy needs.
Our transportation system depends on substantial investments from the [Page: S1114] Federal Government. This investment consistently yields a big return for American jobs. In my home State of Montana, the last highway bill created or sustained more than 18,000 good-paying jobs, and nationwide it put approximately 35,000 people to work for every $1 billion invested. So for every $1 billion invested, it created 35,000 jobs. These are not just statistics, these numbers represent families able to put food on the table. They are good jobs. These numbers represent small businesses able to attract new customers.
I know these types of investments work because I spent a day working alongside a road construction crew on Amsterdam Road in Bozeman. They showed me the ropes of running a road grader, a paver, and an excavator. I might say, the grader was really up to date. All I had to do was get in the grader, move forward, and it was guided by a GPS system that raised the blade, turned the blade, tilted the blade at exactly the right location, and it was a perfect line I made down that road, whereas if I had had to do it by myself, it would have been a mess. The GPS made it work. During the workday, I talked to about a dozen workers who said their families depended on the project for their livelihood. It was very impressive. Their work also had a major impact on the community because Amsterdam Road is one of the most traveled roads in the area.
Investing in our transportation infrastructure is investing in our families and our economy. It is an investment. It yields great returns. It pays dividends. This bill seeks to maintain that investment through 2013; that is, the underlying bill that is before us--not the Blunt amendment but the underlying bill. I would prefer a longer period of time in the underlying bill to provide greater certainty. We are already 2 years past due. We have had lots of extensions. We must work together now to get something done at least until the end of next year, and a 2-year bill provides the compromise we need to get there.
I have worked on this bill for about 4 years from the leadership perspective of two different Senate committees: the Environment and Public Works Committee, which provided the authorization for roads, highways, bridges, and various forms of nonmotorized transportation, and the Finance Committee, which provided the money so we can have the proceeds and the resources to pay for these highways.
From the perspective of investment, I can tell you firsthand that this bill specifically focuses on those programs that are truly in our shared national interest. It consolidates nearly 90 road programs down to approximately 30. Consolidating 90--lots of individual, separate programs that kind of divide our country, didn't bring us together--to 30--30 programs that rely on the highway trust fund.
This bill also focuses on dramatically improving our national capacity for data-gathering and data-sharing--desperately needed. We sought to enable States to address safety and mobility difficulties by seeing what solutions have worked in other States. More data will help them better answer those questions. For example, why in some States--my State of Montana--is the highway fatality rate 2 1/2 times the national average? There are a lot of ideas, but what are the real reasons? We need data to find out.
This bill creates for the first time a dedicated freight program to address interstate commerce.
The bill extends a program called TIFIA. That is a lending program that leverages private sector investment, good investment, building roads and bridges. History tells us that every $1 we put in can leverage $30 in private sector investment.
This bill has no earmarks--no earmarks. Senators BOXER, INHOFE, VITTER, and I worked hard to achieve agreements, and I thank my colleagues who serve on the Environment and Public Works Committee for unanimously approving this bill and its reforms--unanimously.
I especially would like to applaud Chairman Boxer and Ranking Member Inhofe for their leadership. They worked very hard, and they worked together. Sometimes people think Washington can't work together. Let me tell you, I have watched these two people work very closely together. They were a team to get a highway bill here before the Senate.
Next, from the perspective of the Finance Committee, the bill provides the highway trust fund with sufficient funding to last at least until the end of fiscal year 2013. The highway trust fund simply does not bring in enough revenue from traditional funding sources, such as the fuel tax, to meet our national needs. As a result, Democrats and Republicans on the committee had to look elsewhere to ensure for the short term that we could maintain current levels of Federal investment. In the long term, we should use the opportunity to decide what we want for a transportation network in the 21st century. So we are going to pass this short-term bill, and while we are passing this short-term bill, we have to give a lot of thought to what we want to do for the long term. We should use that opportunity to decide what makes the most sense for the 21st century.
Where we could apply unused fuel tax money that currently goes to the leaking underground storage tank trust fund surplus, the Finance Committee did so with support from Democrats and Republicans. And where we transferred money from the general fund to the highway trust fund, we sought to backfill the general fund by closing tax gaps or focusing on tax scofflaws.
It is important that we make sure the highway bill stays focused on supporting the economy. In Montana, our highways are our lifeblood. We are a highway State. We log a lot of hours at the wheel. It is a part of who we are. We are the fourth largest State in the Nation for land mass, but we have fewer residents than Rhode Island, the smallest State in size.
My friend the former Senator Mike Mansfield said in 1967: Montanans are formed by the vastness of a state whose mountains rise to 12,000 feet in granite massives, piled one upon another as though by some giant hand. To drive across the state is to journey, in distances, from Washington, DC, north to Toronto, or south to Florida. In area, we can accommodate Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York, and still have room for the District of Columbia. Yet, in all this vastness, we are ..... less than a million people.
A few weeks ago, we just tipped the needle on 1 million residents. I might say, I am not sure we are happy about that. Some of us want to be under 1 million in population and some kind of like 1 million. It is a big debate in our State: Should we be 1 million or less than 1 million? Nonetheless, we lack the population to make the necessary investments in Federal aid roads and interstates by ourselves, and we shouldn't have to do so. Montana alone could not support the Interstate Highway System--we couldn't do it--or the other national highways in our State. We don't have the people. With more than 10 million visitors annually and with the majority of our truck traffic originating and ending out of State, we rely on the Federal program with good reason: It is in our common interest--in the interest of Montana, in the interest of all those folks who transport freight across our State, and in the interest of people who want to visit Glacier Park or Yellowstone Park. It is in our common interest.
I am here to say that the more we keep our eye on the ball, with a transportation bill that keeps our common interests in mind, the more successful we will be.
Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.