Rehberg and his party bosses put brakes on Highway Bill

Bill would sustain Montana jobs, includes Tester’s farm vehicle exemption

BILLINGS, Mont. – Congressman Dennis Rehberg and his party bosses in the U.S. House of Representatives are putting the brakes on a new Highway Bill that would create and sustain Montana jobs, put veterans to work, and cut red tape for Montana’s farmers and ranchers.

The Highway Bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate with a vote 74 to 22. But news reports indicate that Rehberg and the House are unlikely to pass the Senate’s bipartisan bill.

“When it comes to creating jobs and responsible investment in Montana’s infrastructure, Jon Tester is in the driver’s seat, and Congressman Rehberg is spinning in the mud,” said Montanans for Tester spokesman Aaron Murphy. “Jon worked together with his colleagues to make this bill work for Montana, and Congressman Rehberg is irresponsibly doing nothing.”

Today the Billings Gazette reported the new Highway Bill would benefit oil and gas development in Eastern Montana.

The legislation also includes an amendment by Tester to allow military trucking experience to count toward commercial drivers’ licenses, allowing more veterans to work as commercial truckers.

The Senate Highway Bill also:

  • Reauthorizes the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund to improve access to hunting and fishing (including a Tester provision to set aside 1.5 percent of LWCF funding to purchase access to public lands);
  • Includes a Tester farm vehicle exemption allowing equipment to cross stateliness without unnecessary and burdensome regulation;
  • Streamlines government and cuts red tape by converting 90 programs to 30;
  • Includes Tester language creating a new tribal transit fund;
  • Includes a Tester-supported amendment to improve local control of transportation enhancement funds