With U.S. Highways Falling Apart, House Leaders Kick the Can Down the Road

May 29, 2015

With U.S. Highways Falling Apart, House Leaders Kick the Can Down the Road

The 2013 Infrastructure Report Card by the American Society of Civil Engineers gave

U.S. infrastructure an overall grade of D-.  More than 147,000 bridges – one out of every four -- in the United States are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.  Congestion costs commuters $121 billion in wasted time and fuel, or an average of $818 per commuter.

At the end of May, the Highway Trust Fund is set to expire.  In spite of this deadline, Republicans in the House and Senate have yet to put forward a long-term plan to reauthorize the Trust Fund.  Instead House and Senate leaders chose to punt this deadline two months deeper into the critical summer construction season.  At long last, we need a robust, long-term surface transportation bill.  Rep. Levin and other Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee, recently wrote aletter to Ways and Means Chairman Ryan requesting comprehensive, bipartisan hearings with ou! tside stakeholders to find a long-term funding solution for the Highway Trust Fund.  In the letter, members urge that “short-term extensions must stop.”

Rep. Levin Backs Bill to Renew Breast Cancer Research Stamp

Rep. Levin recently joined 46 other House lawmakers in introducing the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act [H.R. 2191].  More than a decade ago, breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Ernie Bodai, launched a campaign to create the Breast Cancer Research stamp.  Since its release, almost one billion stamps have been sold in the United States, raising more than $80 million for cutting-edge breast cancer research.  The current authorization of the stamp expires this year.  H.R. 2191 would renew the stamp for four additional years.

Lawmakers Introduce Bill to End Slaughter of American Horses

Horses have never been raised for human consumption in the United States.  Yet for decades, American horses have been bought and slaughtered by a foreign-owned industry for sale to high-end diners in other countries.  While no horse slaughterhouses currently operate in the United States, each year about 100,000 U.S. horses are transported long distances for slaughter in Canada and Mexico.

The Safeguard American Exports Act [H.R. 1942] was recently introduced in the House of Representatives by 100 House lawmakers, including Rep. Levin, to bar horse slaughter plants from opening in the United States and to prevent international and interstate transport of horses intended for human consumption.  H.R. 1942 would end the slaughter of American horses once and for all.