Mr. DeFAZIO. This is really a discussion about the future of transportation in America, and there is a very basic difference.
The Republicans are being hung up because there is a substantial portion of their caucus that believes--truly believes--there is no Federal interest, that we should not have a national transportation policy and that it should be devolved to the States.
[Time: 09:50] Well, that's what this looks like when you devolve to the States. Kansas Turnpike, 1956, Oklahoma said they'd build their section. They didn't. They were launching cars into Amos Switzer's cornfield for the next 8 years. This was about the failure of a 50-State transportation policy. They are being hung up by enough people on their side to hold up this bill by those who believe that this is the way the country should look in the future.
Now, we want jobs. Even if they could move their H.R. 7--which they can't because of this faction--they would cut funding by 20 percent. We've got 150,000 bridges on the Federal system, the National Highway System, that need repair or replacement. Forty percent of the pavement needs substantial redoing, not just resurfacing. There is a $70 billion backlog on our legacy transit systems--that's our 20th century system--and there's no money in this for a 21st century system.
And this is their vision. Their vision, it's one of two visions. Cut 20 percent. The Ryan budget actually would cut transportation by 35 percent from current levels. Or the Flat Earthers who say there's no Federal interest in a national transportation system. One of those three things is going to come out from their side; a 20 percent cut, a 35 percent cut, or no program.
We have an alternative. Let's vote on the Senate bill. When you can get 22 Republican Senators to vote to extend the program for 2 years--and we had one gentleman say, Oh, 2 years is nothing, no equipment orders. Well, guess what. I have a list here--and it's just the beginnings of a list--of seven State DOTs who have contacted the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials saying a 90-day delay will cost jobs; 40,000 jobs in North Carolina, and on down the list. Nevada, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and New Hampshire have all reported in about projects they're going to delay or cancel if we do another 90-day extension and we don't do the 2-year bill. The 2-year bill is enough certainty for these projects to move forward. No, it's not optimal. We need a real 5-year bill, but we don't need a 5-year bill that guts or destroys the program. But those are the alternatives you are offering us here.
Just give us one vote, just one vote. Let us vote on the Senate bill, which passed as a true bipartisan bill. This is not a bipartisan bill. The gentleman from Florida is a good friend. But look, we did not sit down and look at this bill and review it. It was presented to us.