Tester, Baucus: Next Transportation Secretary ‘must support rural America’

Senators push rural infrastructure priorities as President replaces LaHood

With the President preparing to replace U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus are sending him a clear message: pick a strong advocate for rural America.

Tester and Baucus want the next Transportation Secretary to support smart rural transportation projects that create jobs and help rural communities grow.

The Senators say reliable transportation options allow small businesses owners to get their goods to market quicker, meet demand for their products, and hire more workers.

“Investing in our infrastructure is investing in our economy,” Tester and Baucus told the President. “It is crucial to our state and to rural America that we continue to make smart investments in all modes of transportation, and we urge you to nominate someone whose background prepares them to tackle the unique transportation issues facing rural America.”

Tester and Baucus note that Montana, one of the largest states in the country, is home to thousands of miles of highways and railroad tracks, as well as dozens of small airports.

Tester, the Senate’s only working farmer, is a leading advocate for rural America’s small businesses. He recently fought to increase rural broadband internet access, saying access to high-speed internet “creates jobs on Main Street.”

As chairman of the Environment and Public Works Transportation subcommittee, Baucus led passage of a Highway Bill in 2012 that is bringing $400 million to Montana each year to support 13,500 Montana jobs.

Tester and Baucus’ letter to President Obama regarding the next Tranportation Secretary nominee.pdf by les_braswell5524