[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1997, Book II)]
[October 27, 1997]
[Pages 1438-1439]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Signing the Department of Transportation and Related 
Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998
October 27, 1997

    I am pleased to sign into law today H.R. 2169, the ``Department of 
Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998.''
    This legislation provides funds to improve safety on our highways, 
airways, and waterways. It would also permit the highest level of 
Federal infrastructure investment in history--investment to improve our 
Nation's highways, transit systems, Amtrak, and airports and, as a 
result, improve personal mobility and make America a better global 
    Unfortunately the Congress has done only half the job in passing 
this legislation. Authorization of the Federal grant programs for 
highways, transit, and highway safety expired on September 30, 1997. 
Until the Congress reauthorizes those programs within the constraints of 
the Balanced Budget Act, we have only the promise of record-high 
investment levels, not the reality.
    I submitted my proposal to reauthorize those programs, called ``The 
National Economic Crossroads Transportation Efficiency Act'' (NEXTEA), 
last March. The Congress has held hearings and begun work on this 
legislation. But, as we near the end of the first month of fiscal 1998, 
the Congress has not presented me with legislation that would 
reauthorize these programs.

[[Page 1439]]

    I call on the Congress to act--before it adjourns for the year--on a 
multi-year reauthorization bill that will give transportation planners 
and decision-makers the assurance of multi-year funding levels that they 
can use to continue to improve America's vital transportation network. 
My Administration stands ready to assist the Congress to resolve the 
issues and agree on a multi-year bill.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

October 27, 1997.

Note: H.R. 2169, approved October 27, was assigned Public Law No. 105-