THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I am pleased to sign into law today H.R. 2169, the "Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998."
This legislation provides funds to improve safety on our highways, airways, and waterways. It would also permit the highest level of Federal infrastructure investment in history -- investment to improve our Nation's highways, transit systems, Amtrak, and airports and, as a result, improve personal mobility and make America a better global competitor.
Unfortunately the Congress has done only half the job in passing this legislation. Authorization of the Federal grant programs for highways, transit, and highway safety expired on September 30, 1997. Until the Congress reauthorizes those programs within the constraints of the Balanced Budget Act, we have only the promise of record-high investment levels, not the reality.
I submitted my proposal to reauthorize those programs, called "The National Economic Crossroads Transportation Efficiency Act" (NEXTEA), last March. The Congress has held hearings and begun work on this legislation. But, as we near the end of the first month of fiscal 1998, the Congress has not presented me with legislation that would reauthorize these programs.
I call on the Congress to act -- before it adjourns for the year -- on a multi-year reauthorization bill that will give transportation planners and decision-makers the assurance of multi-year funding levels that they can use to continue to improve America's vital transportation network. My Administration stands ready to assist the Congress to resolve the issues and agree on a multi-year bill.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 27, 1997.
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