December 08, 2020

Duckworth, Durbin, Inhofe, Davis, Napolitano Bill to Commemorate Route 66 Passes House and Now Headed To President’s Desk


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Bipartisan legislation to commemorate Route 66 introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) passed the House of Representatives today and is now headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) and Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32) introduced the companion legislation in the House of Representatives. The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act will establish a centennial commission in preparation for the 100th anniversary of Route 66, which begins in Chicago and continues through six other states before ending on the Pacific Coast of California.

“From Chicago to East St. Louis, Route 66 has played a tremendous role in Illinois’s history by helping promote travel, commerce and so much more,” Duckworth said. “I’m thrilled the House passed this bipartisan legislation so swiftly after the Senate, and I look forward to this bill becoming law to protect the landmark highway, support local economies and rightfully designate Route 66 as a national historic trail in time for its 100th anniversary.”

“Route 66 is iconic in Oklahoma,” Inhofe said. “Reaching more than 400 miles through Tulsa, Oklahoma City and countless other towns in between, our state is home to the longest drivable stretch of Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway. I am proud to see our bipartisan legislation pass the Senate and now the House. Together, we can continue efforts to establish a commission that will help us best celebrate 2026 as the centennial anniversary of America’s first all-weather highway.”

“Route 66 has been keeping this country – from Illinois to California – connected for nearly 100 years,” said Durbin. “In celebration of the countless family road trips, interstate commerce, and transportation feats that Route 66 has made possible, we must preserve the highway for generations to come. I’m proud the House has passed our Route 66 Centennial Commission Act, taking the next step in designating the highway as a national historic trail.”

“As America’s iconic, first all-paved highway under the U.S. Highway System, Route 66 has been an integral part of the history, economy, and culture of countless communities across the country, including many in central and southwestern Illinois that I represent in Congress,” said Rep. Davis. “As we approach Route 66’s 100-year anniversary, the necessary preparations should be made to ensure that this historic highway is properly celebrated and preserved for generations to come. Lawmakers from both parties who represent Route 66 have been working on this legislation for several years now, and I’m glad that we’re one step closer to the Route 66 Centennial Commission Act being signed into law. I’d like to thank Senator Duckworth for introducing this legislation in the Senate and Representative Napolitano for leading this effort with me in the House.”

“Route 66 runs east to west through my entire district and continues to provide vital transportation, economic, and community benefits to our San Gabriel Valley and American society,” Napolitano said. “Our local restaurants, shops, and other businesses, like so many others dotting the interstate from the heartland to the west coast, provide rest breaks for travelers, allowing them to sample all the local flavors of our communities that are proud to be connected by the iconic road. As we are now just nearly 5 years away from the centennial, our legislation will aid the efforts of cities, like those in my district, who are reinvesting in Route 66. I commend our mayors, local chambers of commerce, and LA County for their ongoing work to revitalize and preserve Route 66 for future generations. I thank my Illinois colleagues, Senator Duckworth and Congressman Davis, for co-leading this legislation and getting it through both houses of Congress.”

The commission created by the Route 66 Centennial Commission Act would be made up of representatives from each of the eight Route 66 states and would recommend activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2026. The Route 66 Ahead Partnership supports this legislation.