The Congressional Representative for Northeast Missouri is one of four sponsors for an extension of a federal highway bill to maintain current federal spending on transportation.

The Congressional Representative for Northeast Missouri is one of four sponsors for an extension of a federal highway bill to maintain current federal spending on transportation.

Sam Graves (R-Mo.) joins Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Eleanor Norton (D-DC) and Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) in introducing H.R. 3763. The bill would maintain current spending, hovering around the $40 billion mark for the federal highway aid program for fiscal years 2016 through 2021. A small increase in spending each year takes inflation into consideration. Several other programs would receive significantly smaller allocations over the same time span.

“A modern and efficient transportation system is critical to everything we do in this country,” Graves said. “But state and local governments cannot make the necessary investments in infrastructure without a long-term federal Highway Bill.”

A transportation bill of some kind has been a priority of of Congress for some time, with the Senate passing a similar bill in July that secured funding for three years compared to H.R. 3763's six.

A tool used to predict the possibility of passage — govtrack.us — gives this highway bill a 75 percent chance of passing through the House committee phase, a good prognosis compared to the majority of other pieces of legislation. It gives the bill a 17 percent chance of enactment, also higher than the average.

“In Missouri alone, we have over 35,000 highway miles and 10,000 roadway bridges that need our attention,” Graves continued. “Each state must be given the certainty to plan these projects with confidence, and this bill will do just that.”

But the bill doesn't invest nearly as much as needed for transportation, according to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

He said in September that $400 billion over the next six years is "the absolute minimum level of investment" needed to keep traffic from worsening.

H.R. 3763 invests $325 billion.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.