Durbin: Congress Sends Long-Term Transportation Bill to President

Legislation includes reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank which Senator says is key tool for Illinois businesses

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) hailed Congressional passage of legislation that will authorize and fund transportation programs for the next 5 years and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.  Durbin – who was a member of the Conference Committee tasked with finding a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the transportation bill – said that the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act will provide the certainty that businesses and state governments, like Illinois, need to plan critical infrastructure projects, create good-paying jobs and support Illinois businesses. 


On passage of the FAST Act, Durbin said: “This is a strong bipartisan bill that reauthorizes our nation's transportation programs and gives state and local agencies certainty in planning for the next five years.  As a member of the House-Senate Conference Committee, I was glad to be at the table working to protect Illinois’ important, job-creating infrastructure priorities.”


Amtrak President & CEO Joe Boardman said: “We appreciate the hard work and strong bipartisan support from the leadership of the Committees of jurisdiction in moving forward this transportation legislation.  We thank Sen. Durbin and all of Congress for recognizing Amtrak as a vital mode of transportation and including Amtrak in the Surface Transportation Bill for the first time in history. The continued steady demand of ridership and expansion of service clearly demonstrates the need for critical investment in passenger rail.”


Additional information on Illinois transportation priorities included in the FAST Act can be found on Senator Durbin’s WEBSITE


On reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, Durbin said: “This reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank is long overdue.  I am glad to see it was included in today’s legislation. As businesses grow and expand, they often look to foreign markets where U.S. goods and services are in high demand.  The Export-Import Bank – the primary tool supporting U.S. exports – helps at least 100 Illinois companies, more than 80 of which are small businesses.” 


The Export-Import Bank is a key tool that thousands of businesses – including 3,340 small businesses – across the country rely on to access new markets, boost international sales, and succeed in the global economy.  Every $1 billion in new exports sales supports 6,000 additional jobs. These transactions support $27.4 billion in exports and 164,000 American jobs all while returning $7 billion to the U.S. Treasury over the last 20 years.