Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Hartzler introduces Roads, not Roses Act
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) and Congressman Sam Johnson (R-Texas) today introduced two pieces of legislation to prioritize the use of federal transportation funding to repair deteriorating roads and bridges rather than to landscape the acreage along the crumbling roads.
“Our highways and bridges are in an increasing state of disrepair,” Hartzler said. “A cracked support beam on an I-70 bridge near Boonville recently caused a lane to be closed for a few days, theGasconade River Bridge on I-44 on Hazelgreen has been closed indefinitely, and the roads that deliver numerous Missourians to work, school, or home continue to crumble. As Congress continues to work towards a sustainable Highway Trust Fund, now is not the time to spend valuable taxpayer dollars on unnecessary ‘beautification’ projects. I appreciate roadside landscaping, but given today’s limited highway dollars, these initiatives are best left to volunteer organizations such as the popular “Adopt-a-Highway” program.”
“From 1992 to 2013, over $1.3 billion was spent on landscaping and scenic beautification,” Hartzler continued. “That’s $1.3 billion that could have been spent repairing the over 60,000 “structurally deficient” bridges – more than 3,300 of which are in Missouri – or the miles of highways that continue to plague our commutes and our vehicles. My bill will free funds from extraneous projects, allowing them to go where they are needed – upgrading and improving our national infrastructure - and I thank Congressman Johnson for joining me in straightening out our transportation funding priorities.”
“It’s not news that North Texas is booming, and I’m sure it also comes as no surprise that most commuters drive – in fact, over 85% of American commuters are drivers,” said Johnson. “But in order to keep you and your family safe as you drive from school, to the grocery store, to work, and back home, you need peace of mind to know the roads you are driving on are safe! Unfortunately, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are spent each year on pet projects like buggy trails and vegetation management rather than where they are needed most – repairing deteriorating roads and bridges. My bill will right this wrong and get federal transportation back on the right track, and I thank Congresswoman Hartzler for joining me in this responsible effort.”
Hartzler’s Roads, Not Roses Act, which repeals 23 U.S. Code § 319 - Landscaping and scenic enhancement, and Johnson’s Right of Way for American Drivers Act effort, which repeals the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), are supported by Americans for Prosperity.
Congresswoman Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.