Graves Introduces the STARTER Act 2.0 – an Investment in Roads, Bridges, Transit, and Highway Safety

Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and other Republican Committee leaders today introduced a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill that provides historic levels of investment in America’s roads, bridges, and core infrastructure to meet the Nation’s growing transportation needs.

The Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology, & Efficient Review (STARTER) Act 2.0 provides more than $400 billion over five years – the largest percentage increase for these programs in the last quarter-century – for the federal highway, transit, and motor carrier and highway safety programs.

Reforms in the bill will also cut red tape to get meaningful transportation improvements completed in a timely manner, making federal investment go farther by actually getting projects done with fewer delays. The legislation lays out key Republican principles for a much-needed bipartisan agreement to authorize these programs before October, and it’s based upon similar legislation introduced last year with input from Committee and House Members, the transportation community, and others.

“I strongly believe that the path to improving America’s infrastructure is through partnership – not partisanship.  Republicans want to work together on bipartisan infrastructure solutions, but in order to reach that goal, key principles must be addressed in this process,” said Graves.  “The STARTER Act 2.0 puts forward our Republican principles; provides historic levels of funding for our roads, bridges, and other surface transportation infrastructure; and ensures that we invest those funds wisely and efficiently.

Graves continued, “Our bill focuses on the core infrastructure that helps move people and goods through our communities every single day, cuts red tape that holds up project construction, and gets resources into the hands of our states and locals with as few strings attached as possible.  As the process for considering legislation on infrastructure moves forward, I am eager to see these proposals become part of a robust bipartisan effort – just as the President continues to call for.”

The STARTER Act 2.0:

  • Authorizes over $400 billion over five years – the largest percentage increase for surface transportation programs in the last quarter-century.
  • Prioritizes proven programs that address core infrastructure functions – by improving our core system of highways and bridges, facilitating commerce, and focusing on safety and efficiency.
  • Streamlines project delivery – by cutting red tape to reduce project delays and costs, putting federal dollars to work faster to improve our transportation system.
  • Meets rural America’s infrastructure needs – by investing in small and rural communities, where 71% of public road mileage runs.
  • Ensures flexibility for states and non-federal partners – by giving states more decision-making authority to meet their own unique infrastructure needs.
  • Fosters transportation innovation and technology – helping to improve transportation efficiency, safety, resiliency, and the environment.
  • Works to sustain the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) – by recognizing that continued reliance on fuel taxes is not a long-term solution to HTF solvency.
  • Supports building more resilient infrastructure – because every $1 invested in mitigation and resiliency saves $4 to $11, reduces risk, and saves lives.

Click here for the legislative text of the STARTER Act.

Click here for a section-by-section summary of the STARTER Act.

In addition to today’s introduction of the STARTER Act, Graves also introduced legislation last week to expand rural broadband and invest in clean water infrastructure.

Click here for more information about the Eliminating Barriers to Rural Internet Development Grant Eligibility (E-BRIDGE) Act.

Click here for more information about the Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2021.