Text: H.Res.936 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (03/12/2008)

H. Res. 936

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

March 12, 2008.  

    Whereas President Thomas Jefferson commissioned his Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, to provide a new vision for transportation that would unite the young Republic;

    Whereas 2008 marks the bicentennial of the national plan, known as the Gallatin Report on Roads and Canals (Gallatin Report), presented by Secretary Gallatin to President Jefferson;

    Whereas the Gallatin Report proposed transportation improvements not as ends in themselves but as means to further national unity;

    Whereas transportation improvements were part of the promise of the American Revolution, as James Madison, writing in The Federalist No. 14, emphasized, “Let it be remarked * * * that the intercourse throughout the Union will be facilitated by new improvements. Roads will everywhere be shortened, and kept in better order; accommodations for travelers will be multiplied and meliorated; an interior navigation on our eastern side will be opened throughout, or nearly throughout, the whole extent of the thirteen States”;

    Whereas Madison’s words have served as a worthy reminder of the needs for transportation infrastructure since that time;

    Whereas the Gallatin Report incorporated the improvements to the Postal Service that Benjamin Franklin bequeathed to the Nation, including Franklin’s route surveys, his placement of milestones on principal roads, and his development of shorter transportation routes;

    Whereas the Gallatin Report called for an inland waterway navigation canal from Massachusetts to North Carolina, which was the precursor to the modern day Intercostal Waterway system;

    Whereas the United States, as a result of Gallatin’s legacy, has a record of successful infrastructure developments, including—

    (1) the Erie Canal, which vastly reduced transportation costs to the interior;

    (2) the transcontinental railway, which united the Nation;

    (3) transit projects across the Nation, which promote freedom and opportunity;

    (4) the National Highway System, including the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways, which fostered interstate commerce, national unity, and broke down barriers between the States; and

    (5) the Tennessee Valley Authority, devised by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a “corporation clothed with the power of government but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise”, which brought electricity, conservation planning, and opportunity for thousands in the Tennessee Valley and across the Nation;

    Whereas to be regarded as a success, any national planning endeavor must address and reconcile the needs of different regions of the Nation;

    Whereas the genius of the Gallatin Report was its alignment of the hopes of the Nation with the opportunities presented by access to new markets, populations, and territories;

    Whereas the United States currently faces new challenges in financing the transportation infrastructure that is necessary for the future economic needs of the Nation; and

    Whereas if the United States is to succeed in a world of increasing international competition, the United States must have a new national plan for transportation improvements to provide for the Nation’s future: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) reaffirms the goals and ideals that formed the impetus for Albert Gallatin’s national plan for transportation improvements 200 years ago;

(2) calls on the Federal Government, States, localities, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and the citizens of the United States to mark this important anniversary by recalling the important legacy of public investment in infrastructure, which connects and enhances the economies, communications, and communities of the several States; and

(3) supports the creation of a new national plan for transportation improvements to align the demands for economic development with the resources of the Nation.



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