July 10,2014

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Wyden Statement on Bipartisan Deal to Preserve the Highway Trust Fund

As Prepared for Delivery

With the Highway Trust Fund getting closer to running on fumes, Congress must get beyond the gridlock where each faction says, “It’s my way, or no highway.”

Getting beyond this corrosive gridlock is what Senator Hatch and I have sought to do in this mark. I am very grateful to you, Senator Hatch, for your patience and flexibility throughout, and very much appreciate our partnership.

The bipartisan mark contains important priorities for both sides: for example, tax loophole closing to crack down on those who do not pay what they owe, and it squeezed more value out of current government spending, while setting aside funds to protect endangered pensions and the needs of workers in a tough, global economy.

Most importantly, Senator Hatch and I erect a bipartisan bridge to what’s needed most – a long-term bill that rebuilds America’s broken infrastructure, which needs $3.6 trillion dollars of repairs.

Every one of us knows the consequences of failing to act on both our short-term and long-term transportation needs. Short-term, hundreds of thousands of workers could lose their jobs – jobs that pay good wages, a living wage you can support a family on. Long-term, a little-league infrastructure harms our ability to compete with big-league competition from nations like India and China.

The House Ways and Means Committee this morning in a vote chose to advance a partisan bill. Senator Hatch and I would like the Senate to choose another path, a bipartisan path, forward.