(Posted Fri. Nov 6th, 2015)
The National Corn Growers Association today thanked the House of Representatives for passing the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, a bill that would extend federal highway funding for the next six years. The House and Senate must now reconcile their respective transportation bills and send it to the White House for signature, before federal transportation funding expires on November 20.
“On behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers, thank you to the House for passing this important legislation,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Maryland. “Eighty percent of America’s corn crop is trucked to market, so this issue affects all of us. Safe roads and bridges allow us to get our products to market quickly, safely, and efficiently. When roads and bridges aren’t properly maintained, it’s not just a nuisance – it puts our safety at risk and hurts our bottom lines.”
“We especially want to thank the House Transportation Committee, Chairman Bill Schuster (R-Pennsylvania), Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), and Representatives Sam Graves (R-Missouri) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) for their leadership in getting this bill passed. We now call on the House and Senate to reconcile their two bills and send this legislation to President Obama as quickly as possible before the Thanksgiving recess,” said Bowling.
As part of the debate over highway funding, NCGA joined more than 70 food and agricultural organizations in supporting the Safe, Flexible and Efficient (SAFE) Trucking Act. This bipartisan amendment, which was sponsored by Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wisconsin), Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon), David Rouzer (R-N.C.), and Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota), would have improved the efficiency of America’s food supply chain by modernizing truck weight limits. The amendment failed to pass on the House floor.
“The SAFE Trucking Act would have helped farmers get their product to market more efficiently. While we are disappointed that this amendment was defeated, we are happy to see Congress moving forward on long-term highway funding,” said Bowling.