Alaskan Congressman Don Young today announced a deal on a final conference report for a 28-month Highway Bill that restores critical funding to Alaskan programs including the Alaska Railroad, Alaska Marine Highway and the Tribal Transportation Program. Rep. Young was a member of the House-Senate Conference Committee that negotiated this agreement.
“My priority from day one as a member of the conference committee has been Alaska,” said Rep. Young. “The Senate-passed highway bill hung Alaskans out to dry and would have had drastic implications all across the State. Whether we’re talking about vital rail funding in the Interior, ferry funding in Southeast or Tribal Transportation funding in rural Alaska – the Senate-passed bill would have severely impacted Alaska.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner appointed Congressman Young to serve on the Conference Committee. Being named as a conferee meant Rep. Young had a seat at the negotiating table and in the end, was able to work with his fellow conferees to find a solution that did not have such a drastic impact on Alaska.
“When it’s all said and done, this bill isn’t perfect, but I was able to dramatically improve the bill and restore funding to several crucial Alaska programs.”
Both the House and Senate are expected to take up the final bill before the end of the week.