With two major interstate highways running directly through it, the Fifth District stands at the crossroads of Oklahoma and the surrounding Midwest. As a member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Mary continues to fight for the kind of smart federal policies that will help the state remain an important hub of transportation and commerce.


If 20th century transportation was about the creation of the network of roads and highways we enjoy today, the 21st century will be about the upkeep of that network and the challenges posed by an increasingly mobile society. Whether or not we meet these challenges head on will largely be determined by next year's Highway Funding Bill. Mary has used her position on the Transportation Committee to advocate for a smarter, less political system of funding that puts priorities above Congressional pork and ensures that our highways become safer, more efficient and more equipped to deal with congestion.


Mary also continues to insure that Oklahoma never gets the short end of the stick. Earlier this year, Mary helped to pass bipartisan legislation that restored billions of dollars to the Federal Highway Trustfund. That legislation prevented Oklahoma from losing over $170 million for highway construction and maintenance projects, a loss that would have cost jobs and eroded road and bridge safety.


Mary has played a key role in drawing the attention of the federal government to Oklahoma's structurally deficient bridges. With one of the highest number of deficient bridges in the nation, the state government needs Congress to step in – and that's exactly what Mary has advocated. At Rep. Fallin's invitation, Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters recently toured (will tour) key transportation sights in Oklahoma City, including the I-40 crosstown bridge that continues to be labeled deficient.


In the coming years, Oklahoma will face a host of transportation challenges, including a 70% increase in trucks on our highways. To keep up with increasing congestion, Oklahoma must have the freedom and the funds to invest in its own transportation future. To make sure it does, Mary has cosponsored the STATE Act, a bill that shifts the balance between state and federal revenue set aside for transportation spending. By allowing Oklahoma to keep more of its own money, the STATE act insures your tax dollars are spent in Oklahoma, not anywhere else.