Senate approves $318B highway transportation bill
Friday, February 13, 2004

The Senate voted 76-21 on Thursday to approve a $318 billion transportation bill.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003, S.1072, funds the Indian Reservation Roads program. The amount would be $300 million for fiscal year 2004 and would increase by $25 million annually for the next five years. By 2009, the program would receive $425 million.

Tribal advocates are looking for higher amounts. The range they have been suggesting is $375 million to $500 million. Of the 55,000 miles of highways that run through tribal lands, more than half are unpaved, according to federal statistics, and of the nearly 750 bridges, about a quarter are deficient.

President Bush is threatening to veto the bill and its companion in the House. He claim it is too costly. The House version would cost $375 billion.

Get the Story:
Highway Bill Passes Senate, Faces Opposition From Bush (The Washington Post 2/13)
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Senate Backs $318 Billion for Highways (The New York Times 2/13)
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Get the Bill:
S.1072 (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003)

Relevant Links:
TEA-21 Reauthorization -
Tribal Transportation, DOT -

Related Stories:
Domenici cites spending hike for reservation roads (2/12)
Senate committee approves reservation roads bill (06/27)
Editorial: Congress needs to fund reservation roads (06/05)
Senate committee to take up reservation roads (6/3)
BIA delaying distribution of federal road money (05/30)
Alaska's Young wants $375B for transportation (05/16)
New federal highway funds bill introduced (05/15)
Advocates seek boost for Indian Country roads (03/28)
Rahall: The Indian agenda in the 108th Congress (01/08)
State disputes 'illegal jurisdiction' of tribe (10/10)
Bill to double reservation road funds (09/24)
Federal appeals court affirms tribal authority (8/15)
McCaleb tussles with tribal leaders over roads (11/8)

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