Nearly 1,500 representatives from the small business, manufacturing and transportation communities are meeting this week with policymakers on Capitol Hill this week to discuss transportation and infrastructure funding for jobs, economic growth and increased competitiveness.
The National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) 2014 Manufacturing Summit, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s America’s Small Business Summit and the Transportation Construction Coalition’s (TCC) annual fly-in will are each emphasizing the need for Congress to address the looming Highway Trust Fund crisis that threatens ongoing highway and public transportation investments and pass a surface transportation authorization.
These independent events from diverse economic sectors demonstrate that the anticipated threat of an insolvent Highway Trust Fund goes far beyond state transportation departments, cities and localities. Deteriorating roads, bridges and transit facilities impact all Americans and threaten the competitiveness of the U.S. economy as well as our quality of life. These events also show strong support for Congress to move a well-funded multiyear surface transportation authorization before MAP-21 expires on September 30. Here’s what some of the industry leaders said:
“This is a national priority—manufacturers and their employees cannot afford delays or uncertainty in funding our nation’s transportation infrastructure because safety, jobs and global competitiveness are at stake,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “A bipartisan solution is needed to ensure the Highway Trust Fund is returned to a condition of solvency and long-term sustainability.”
“It’s time to create a contemporary and innovative infrastructure strategy: one that embraces the private sector and its resources, invites the introduction of desperately needed fresh ideas and concepts, and drives economic prosperity rather than holding back the jobs, opportunity, and growth we need,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue.
“The real world impacts of the Highway Trust Fund crisis are no longer hypothetical,” said Pete Ruane, president of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association and the co-chair of the Transportation Construction Coalition. “More than half of the states have already warned that continued uncertainty is hampering their transportation construction programs. More temporary funding patches won’t make the problem go away. It will only be resolved once Congress and the Administration agree on a long-term and sustainable transportation revenue solution.”
“There are few things that Washington could do that would undermine our fragile economic recovery more than disrupting billions of dollars worth of construction projects later this summer,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America and the co-chair of the Transportation Construction Coalition. He added that over 8,000 construction workers and contractors from 48 states shared their concerns with Congress during the past two months as part of the Coalition’s Hardhats for Highways campaign.