A bill to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail under the auspices of the National Park Service passed unanimously this week out of the Natural Resources Committee to the full U.S. House of Representatives.
U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), who is shepherding the bill with U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), announced H.R. 3600’s advancement on Thursday.
The Route 66 National Historic Trail Designation Act would designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail, “which will expand economic and historic development opportunities across all communities and states Route 66 runs through,” LaHood stated.
LaHood also made this statement about the bill passing out of committee:
“Route 66 is a crucial transportation artery that connects America’s heartland to the west. The Mother Road provides powerful economic development tools for communities throughout Illinois, creating jobs and opportunity for 18th District residents. Designating Route 66 as a National Historic Trail would provide this highway with a permanent program to preserve, promote, and economically develop it. I applaud the House Natural Resources Committee for unanimously passing my legislation and urge the House to swiftly pass this important bill.”
The committee hearing, which included testimony by Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway executive director Casey Claypool, was held last week.
Previous Route 66 Historic Trail legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support in previous congressional sessions. The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership and other Route 66 organizations openly support the measure.
The bill still faces tall odds in advancing through the U.S. House and Senate and to the president’s desk. Skopos Labs estimates it has a 4% chance of being enacted, which doubled from its 2% chances just a week ago.
(Image of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., by Gage Skidmore via Flickr)