The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 4348. The Administration is committed to working on a bipartisan basis on a comprehensive surface transportation reauthorization bill. The reauthorization of the programs funded by the Highway Trust Fund is critical to the safety of the traveling public and the Nation’s ability to facilitate commerce and trade. Since the expiration of
the last multi-year authorization bill in 2009, surface transportation and highway safety programs have operated under a series of short-term extensions, varying from one to nine months. By simply extending current authority through the end of the fiscal year, this legislation would miss a critical opportunity to provide more certainty to States and localities as they undertake the long-term planning and execution of projects and programs that are essential to creating and keeping American workers in good paying jobs, improving the Nation’s surface transportation infrastructure, and ensuring roadway safety.
Further, the Administration is strongly opposed to this bill because it seeks to circumvent a longstanding and proven process for determining whether cross-border pipelines are in the national interest and for assessing the environmental impacts by mandating the permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline project, despite the fact that the pipeline route has yet to be identified and
there is no complete assessment of its potential impacts, including impacts on health and safety, the economy, foreign policy, energy security, and the environment.
The Administration continues to support dedicating a significant amount of the Clean Water Act civil penalties resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for Gulf Coast recovery in a
manner that best serves the people and environment of the Gulf Coast. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to achieve this goal.
Because this bill circumvents a longstanding and proven process for deterrmining whether crossborder pipelines are in the national interest by mandating the permitting of the Keystone XL
pipeline before a new route has been submitted and assessed, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto this legislation.