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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 1, 1996


Today I have signed into law H.R. 3675, the "Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1997."

The Act provides $35.5 billion in funding for the Department of Transportation and several smaller agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board. The bill is consistent with my request in most key areas.

I am pleased that the Congress fully funded my request for the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) safety programs. This bill, together with the FY 1997 omnibus appropriations bill that I have also signed, provides an increase of $286 million over fiscal 1996 for FAA operations. The FAA manages the world's largest and safest aviation system.

To address the recent tragic aviation incidents, I asked Vice President Gore to chair a Commission on Aviation Security and report back with recommendations for improving aviation security. I am pleased that in the omnibus appropriations bill, the Congress fully funded my request of $201 million for the Department of Transportation to implement the Vice President's September 9 recommendations.

The Act includes $150 million to capitalize my proposed new State Infrastructure Banks (SIBs). It also lifts the limit on the number of banks, allowing all States to apply. SIBs are an innovative use of private sector financing ideas that will permit States to leverage infrastructure investment.

I am particularly pleased that the Congress, in the omnibus appropriations bill, fully funded my request for the Alameda Corridor project, which connects the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. This intermodal project will speed the transportation of goods from these ports throughout the country and will also help sustain our Nation's competitive edge in Pacific Rim trade.

The Act provides funding for most of the Department's high-priority programs. I commend the Congress for not including any new earmarked highway projects. States can better determine how to use these funds to meet their transportation infrastructure priorities.



September 30, 1996.

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