Route 66 News

President signs bill to reauthorize Route 66 program

About 2 p.m. CST today, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Bill that contained a measure to  reauthorize the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program for another 10 years.

The word came over in the past hour from wire services and an elated e-mail from Michael Romero Taylor, a longtime co-director of the Route 66 program.

Needless to say, this is good news. The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program has provided cost-share grants to property owners, historical research and other assistance for nearly a decade. The well-regarded program has enjoyed praise from political persuasions of all stripes.

But lawmakers had to hustle to reauthorize the program, as it was scheduled to end late this year. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and recently retired Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) got the ball rolling on the program’s reauthorization  in late 2008. The bill overcame filibuster threats, miscalculations by the Democratic leadership and the usual opposition lobby.

More information about the signing will be passed along as it comes in …

UPDATE: The New York Times has a short story and photo from the signing ceremony.