After failing to convince House Republicans to vote July 15 against a plan to stabilize the Highway Trust Fund—House Republicans supported the measure 181 to 45—the Club for Growth is turning its attention to looming Senate action on the measure. In a July 23 “Key Vote Alert” urging opposition to legislation that would preserve federal highway and transit investment, the Club told senators: “The bill uses budget gimmicks and fee increases to bail out a wasteful and inefficient program that shouldn’t even exist.” The Club is urging senators to vote for the Lee Amendment, which would dramatically reduce federal highway and transit investment. The Club for Growth describes itself as “the only organization that is willing and able to take on any Member of Congress on policy who fails to uphold basic conservative principles.”
ARTBA refuted the Club for Growth’s rhetoric in a July 25 communication to all senators opposing the Lee Amendment. ARTBA detailed for senators the substantial reliance on the federal highway program for highway and bridge capital improvements in their state and the gas tax increase (or equivalent revenues) their state would need to enact to fill the void in surface transportation investment that would be created under the Lee Amendment. ARTBA also highlighted state and local government leaders’ support for a strong federal role in maintaining and improving the nation’s surface transportation network.