WASHINGTON, D.C. The chairman of the U.S. House Transportation
and Infrastructure Committee last week urged President Bush
to reconsider his opposition to bipartisan and bicameral bills
designed to address the nation's growing highway safety and
"It is my view, and I believe the view of most of my
colleagues in Congress, that you are not receiving the best
advice on the issue of how to reauthorize our nation's surface
transportation programs for the coming six years," U.S.
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) wrote in a letter to Bush.
Young noted that numerous congestion, safety and economic
problems caused by the nation's crumbling surface infrastructure
system warranted a strong and immediate response by Congress
and the White House.
"Finding solutions will require an honest discussion
of the issues and a willingness to investigate any potential
means to ensure the continued viability of the trust fund.
I am extremely disappointed with the 'take it or leave it'
approach taken by your advisers. They have provided no real
alternatives to the problem faced by this Congress.
I believe that we have a bicameral, bipartisan consensus
that a much larger level of funding is needed for surface
transportation than the bare bones approach presented in the
Administration's SAFETEA proposal.
"Creating a strong funding framework will require consideration
of all possible options including traditional methods of funding
as well as new and innovative methods. No option should be
placed off limits for discussion.
"I strongly urge you to reach out for new and creative
ways to address the funding of one of the most essential programs
carried out by the federal government the funding of
highway and transit programs," Young concluded in the
For additional information, access the Transportation &
Infrastructure Committee website at: www.house.gov/transportation