WASHINGTON, June 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The leadership of The U.S. Conference of Mayors today issued the following statements as Congress voted to approve the conference agreement on the renewal of the nation's surface transportation law:
"The nation's mayors commend Congress for finally acting, and after more than 1,000 days of operating under short-term extensions, we will end the cycle of uncertainty that has threatened jobs and new investment in our cities and their metro economies. With this cloud lifted, mayors and other local leaders can now use the resources this agreement provides to improve the performance of our transportation systems. Its new financing options will help ensure more jobs are created and our economy grows."
-- USCM President Philadelphia (PA) Mayor Michael Nutter
"The passage of this transportation bill signals that Congress is still able to set aside partisan differences in order to invest in our nation's critical infrastructure. Mayors know first-hand the importance of streets, highways and bridges to economic opportunity. This bill will help ensure that our cities continue on the path of recovery and job creation."
-- USCM Vice President Mesa (AZ) Mayor Scott Smith
"Investing in infrastructure is vital for the long-term economic health and competitiveness of our nation. The approval today of the surface transportation renewal bill by Congress is a major step forward for the country. We must continue to put partisan differences aside and work together to ensure our roads and bridges are in good repair, both for now and the future."
-- USCM Transportation Chair, Atlanta (GA) Mayor Kasim Reed
"America Fast Forward is a path-breaking program that will dramatically accelerate transportation projects across the country. The Surface Transportation Bill will preserve 2 million jobs. With the inclusion of America Fast Forward, it will put close to an additional million Americans to work. Working in partnership with the US Conference of Mayors, we assembled a broad, bipartisan coalition, including nearly 200 mayors and both the AFL-CIO and the US Chamber of Commerce, to bring America Fast Forward to fruition. America Fast Forward expands an existing program
– the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program – to give cities access to low-interest financing with flexible terms for their projects. With America Fast Forward in place, cities across America will be able to speed up the construction of locally funded road and rail projects and get our economy moving again."
-- USCM Immediate Past President, Los Angeles (CA) Antonio Mayor Villaraigosa
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,309 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.