Capito joins Senate committee in advancing federal highways funding bill

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) on Tuesday voted with fellow U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee members to unanimously approve a comprehensive bill to authorize funds for federal highways and related safety construction programs.

The bill, dubbed the largest government-funded proposal for modernizing the nation’s highway infrastructure, includes substantial legislative input from Sen. Capito.

“After several months of serious bipartisan negotiation, I am so proud of the final surface transportation bill we considered today and even more proud of the incredible bipartisan support it received,” said Sen. Capito, chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Sen. Capito and committee members on July 30 voted 21-0 to advance the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019, S. 2302, a bipartisan bill she cosponsored to authorize $287 billion from the Highway Trust Fund over five years in investments to maintain and repair America’s roads and bridges.

“This legislation will help improve the roads, highways and bridges Americans count on to travel safely within their communities and across the country; facilitate commerce and encourage economic growth; and provide the certainty states and other stakeholders need to complete critical projects,” said Sen. Capito.

The senator also said that the bill includes many programs and provisions that she thinks “will appeal to members on both sides of the aisle — not to mention all of the individuals and families it will benefit in West Virginia and across the country — and I look forward to continuing to champion the bill as it moves to the Senate floor.”

S. 2302 also includes three bills that Sen. Capito introduced on July 25 to build and bolster transportation infrastructure and to encourage economic development in the Appalachian region: the Advancing Infrastructure Development in Appalachia Act, S. 2271; the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Reauthorization Act, S. 2273; and the Appalachian Regional Energy Hub Initiative Act, S. 2280.

“The Appalachian region is an area with unique needs and challenges — especially when it comes to our infrastructure and economic development,” Sen. Capito said last week. “Over the years, the ARC has been a critical partner in driving growth, improving communities, and creating new opportunities in West Virginia and across the region; and I am committed to continuing and encouraging that work.”

Additionally, S. 2302 includes the Bridge Investment Act, S. 2310, which Sen. Capito cosponsored on Monday to establish a competitive grant program to assist in the repair and replacement of America’s bridges.