WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) today voted for critical legislation that supports job growth, improves the nation’s transportation infrastructure, extends current student loan rates and reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The two bills, H.R. 4348 and H.R. 5972, passed the U.S. House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support.

H.R. 4348, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act or MAP-21, funds federal highway, transit and transportation safety programs through 2014. To control rising costs and prolonged construction delays in the delivery of federally-supported surface transportation initiatives, the bill cuts the average review time for new projects in half by streamlining the complex process for infrastructure development and establishing firm deadlines for approval.

“First and foremost, this legislation will support job growth in the nation’s struggling construction industry through responsible investment in infrastructure,” said Rep. Dent. “The reauthorization of surface transportation programs through 2014 will provide state and local authorities the certainty they need to move forward with job-creating projects. The inclusion of common-sense reforms will help expedite the completion of crucial projects, allowing limited resources to be utilized more efficiently.”

H.R. 4348 also ensures interest rates on undergraduate student loans remain at 3.4% for an additional year and modernizes the federal flood insurance system by encouraging greater private sector participation in providing coverage.

"Maintaining the current interest rates for undergraduate students receiving federally-subsidized loans is important relief for American students," said Rep. Dent. “As the future foundation of our workforce, these students need access to the best possible education and training.”

H.R. 4348 is the product of months of bipartisan negotiations between members of the House and U.S. Senate.

In addition to H.R. 4348, Rep. Dent, a member of the Committee on Appropriations, also voted for H.R. 5972, the Fiscal Year 2013 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Act. This bill provides $51.6 billion in discretionary funding for crucial infrastructure development and federal housing programs - $3.9 billion below Fiscal Year 2012 levels and $1.9 billion below the President’s request.

“In addition to supporting the development of our regional transportation system, H.R. 5972 maintains sufficient funding for housing and community development programs that benefit communities across the country, including many in the 15th District,” said Rep. Dent. “Importantly, provisions in the bill eliminate wasteful spending and direct the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to tighten the administration of its programs.”