Thank you for contacting me regarding reauthorization of the
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
Reauthorization of TEA-21 will provide funding for highway and transit
programs as well as alternative forms of transportation. These funds will
not only improve our national transportation infrastructure but will help
stimulate the economy by creating and maintaining jobs.
As you may know, Congress has passed legislation extending TEA-21
until May 31, 2005, allowing states to continue to receive federal highway
funding until long-term reauthorization legislation is passed.
In 2004, the Senate passed a TEA-21 reauthorization bill that provided
$318 billion in transportation funding over six years. Unfortunately, the
Bush Administration and the House of Representatives refused to agree to
this level of funding, which is necessary to meet California's
transportation needs. As a member of the Senate Environment and Public
Works Committee, which has jurisdiction over transportation and
infrastructure issues, I will keep working to ensure that a bill is
developed and passed in which California is fairly represented.
I appreciate hearing your views on this important legislation. Please
do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this and other issues
that concern you.