Casey Introduces Legislation to Tap Unspent Funds to Create Jobs and Improve Roads

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, today introduced an amendment aimed at utilizing unspent federal highway money to create jobs and improve roads and bridges in Pennsylvania.

“This money belongs to the taxpayers and should be put to good use, not held hostage by bureaucracy,” said Senator Casey. “This legislation will help Pennsylvania move forward on critical highway projects, relieve the financial burden these unspent funds are causing the state and help create jobs in Pennsylvania.”

The Casey Amendment to the to the FY 2012 Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation-Housing Appropriations bills will require that transportation earmarks older than three years to be redistributed to state departments of transportation for use on other federally approved projects. 

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 25,000 jobs are created or supported for every one billion dollars spent on infrastructure.  Freeing these dollars up could help create jobs. Moreover, most transportation earmarks lock up the federal transportation dollars that flow to States.  That means that the State DOT loses the ability to direct funding to the most pressing needs. 

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is a cosponsor of the amendment.