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June 9, 1998

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This Act will strengthen America. It helps communities modernize and build the roads, bridges, and railways that link people of our great and vast nation together and permit the free flow of goods and services.

President Bill Clinton
June 9, 1998

Today, President Clinton is joined at the White House by Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater and a bipartisan group of Members of Congress to sign the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. This law authorizes investments in our infrastructure over the next six years, including funding to rebuild roads, bridges, and highways.

A Need To Invest For The Future. When President Clinton took office, the broad network of roads and highways which have connected millions of Americans was crumbling. The President has long said that if America is to move forward into the 21st Century, the transportation system which has served our country must be ready for the future as well.

Landmark Investment In Our Nation's Infrastructure. With today's bill signing, the transportation needs of America are being met. This bill strengthens our infrastructure by helping communities rebuild, renovate, and modernize the highways, roads, bridges, and transit systems that link our country together and keeps our economy strong and vibrant.

A Law Which Reflects The President's Priorities. President Clinton insisted that this bill reflect the priorities of this Administration:

  • Environmental Protection. Strengthens proven strategies to protect public health and the environment, expands recreational trails and bike paths, promotes mass transit use, and extends the Ethanol tax credit through 2007;

  • Fiscal Discipline. The highway bill does not touch the budget surplus and is fully paid for with real offsets;

  • Welfare-to-Work Provisions. Invests in the President's transportation plan to help move people from welfare to work;

  • Safeguarding Our Roads and Drivers. Allows our nation to develop advanced air bag technology, offer incentives for increased seat belt use, make roads safer, and get bad drivers and vehicles off the road;

  • Investment in Border Infrastructure. Authorizes the Administration's program to target resources at border crossings to improve traffic flow and reduce illicit activity;

  • Protection of Critical Investments In Our Future. The transportation bill invests in our infrastructure without reducing investments in education, health care, research and development, and the environment.

Strengthening Our Infrastructure For The Future. Today, the President affirms his commitment to providing the resources necessary to rebuild and modernize our invaluable transportation system. The investments made today will pay dividends for years to come, as the roads, highways, bridges, and transit systems which are built or refurbished continue allowing all Americans to travel around and enjoy our great nation.

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