US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Multi-Year Highway Bill an Investment in Our Roads and Bridges

thuneheadernew John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_CongressMulti-Year Highway Bill an Investment in Our Roads and Bridges
By Senator John Thune

With one million bikers expected to take to the highways for the 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally, and as tourist season remains well underway, there is no better time to stress the need for safe, reliable roads and bridges in South Dakota and across America.

Our transportation infrastructure keeps our economy and our nation moving. That is why I am pleased the U.S. Senate recently passed a multi-year highway bill by a vote of 65-34 that would fund federal highway and infrastructure projects for three years. The Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act provides certainty to states across the country, does not increase the gas tax, and would be the longest highway funding measure in over a decade.

For too long, transportation funding has been subjected to one short-term extension after another – 34 short-term extensions since 2009 – that leaves those responsible for our nation’s transportation system without the certainty and predictability they need to maintain and improve the safety of our roads, bridges, and highways.

If Congress fails to provide state and local governments with this necessary certainty, they are hamstrung when it comes to authorizing certain projects or making long-term plans for transportation infrastructure. Such a scenario could mean that essential construction projects get deferred, necessary repairs might not get made, and jobs that depend on transportation are put in jeopardy.

The DRIVE Act answers the call for the type of long-term certainty state and local governments need. This legislation signals an important commitment to safe, quality highways and bridges in South Dakota that will help support our economy and ensure important industries such as tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing continue to thrive.

South Dakota agriculture producers and businesses rely on our interstate highway system to distribute their goods to stores across the United States and around the world. All of us depend on our nation’s roads and bridges to get from place to place every day – especially in a state like South Dakota where the distance between towns is often measured in hours.

This multi-year highway bill is another major legislative achievement for the Republican-led Senate and the result of months of hard work by multiple Senate committees, including the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which I chair. Republicans and Democrats alike had their voices heard during this process, and the final product is stronger because of it. It is critical the House and Senate finish a long-term highway bill in the coming months.

As this year’s rally approaches, I hope your travels throughout the state are safe. Motorcycles will be everywhere over the next few weeks, so remember to look twice and save a life.


5 thoughts on “US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Multi-Year Highway Bill an Investment in Our Roads and Bridges”

  1. First of all, whenever I read the Times or the Washington Post your name is never mentioned as being a leader in the Transportation Bill negotiations. Second …. your party has been kicking this can down the quickly deteriorating road for cycle after cycle and is poised to do it again. You can’t build bridges without money and your Grover Norquist pledge to not raise taxes is letting a valuable USA asset become just another capital “C” Conservative pot hole.

    1. Who has been kicking the can down the road? In 2009, the Democrats owned the Senate and the House. They could have done something but instead went for the continuing resolution. And I am sure our esteemed President had nothing to do with it.

    2. If you look to the Slimes or Compost for news, that’s your problem, PL. I understand you are a socialist, but don’t try to make it look like a good thing.

  2. This guy is the photo op express ,He can get a picture taken faster than the lone ranger can draw.What you get from Photo op is nothing but lip service,He praises our vets but then won’t put a bill in for mandatory funding health bill to take of all our vets who have served>Thune nothing but a puppet for the master MCconell.

  3. Thune wants a bill that is only funded for 3 years. Whatever happened to the Republican Party that wanted to pay for what they did or cut spending. Next, Thune will be acting like our “conservative” Governor and raising taxes. It appears it makes no difference if we have a “republican” senate or a democrat senate.

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