Illinois Rep. Quigley displeased over Congress patching Highway Trust Fund

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, is disappointed that Congress, once again, has approved a short-term extension for the Highway Trust Fund.

The House of Representatives passed legislation earlier this week to continue funding road and bridge projects through the Highway Trust Fund until July 31. Over the last six years, Congress has funded the nation’s transportation system with numerous short-term measures.

“Instead of providing the long term investments in transportation infrastructure that our country desperately needs, Congress once again kicked the can down the road with another short-term funding patch,” Quigley said in a written statement to TI News Daily. “Our country needs a long-term transportation bill. Our crumbling infrastructure is slowing economic growth, and without serious long-term investments we simply will not be able to compete in today’s global economy.”

Quigley, a Democrat who represents Illinois’ fifth district, added that despite the fact that every billion dollars invested in infrastructure creates 30,000 jobs, over the past 50 years investment in infrastructure has shrunk by half.

Quigley voted for the short-term extension to keep highway and transit projects around the country moving forward, however, “… now is the time for Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work together on the long-term transportation bill the American people are asking for,” he said.

Quigley is the only Illinois member currently serving on the House Appropriations Committee, which approves the federal government’s annual spending levels for nearly all federal programs. He has prioritized Chicago-area infrastructure investments as a member of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

He also has helped secure funding for core capacity grants that would benefit Chicago Transit Authority, Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants to benefit both highways and pedestrian projects, and completion of the McCook and Thornton reservoirs to reduce long-term flooding in Cook County.

Congress is expected to vote on the funding patch next week.

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