Members of the House and Senate left Washington, D.C., to hit the campaign trail full time and aren’t expected to return until mid-November. With all House seats and one-third of the Senate on the ballot November 4, there will be no shortage of candidates for federal office in your state and community over the next six weeks. It is imperative that current members of Congress and those seeking election for the first time hear loudly and often about the need to permanently stabilize and grow Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenues.
While Congress acted at the end of July to avert a shutdown of the federal highway and transit programs, the solution only preserves investment through May 2015. As a result, the trust fund will be facing its sixth revenue shortfall at the beginning of the 2015 construction season. The best way to end this eight-year cycle of crisis after crisis is to make sure all congressional candidates hear from you how damaging continued uncertainty is to your business and your state’s economy.
- Over the past 10 years, on average, the federal highway program has provided 52 cents of every $1 dollar invested by state DOTs in highway and bridge capital improvements.
- The source of that money, the federal HTF, is operating on a revenue stream that has not been adjusted in more than two decades.
- As a result, the trust fund has suffered five revenue shortfalls in the last seven years.
- The next HTF cash crisis will occur in May 2015, just at the beginning of the busy construction season.
- The continued uncertainty about federal surface transportation funds is hindering the ability of the states to plan and the private sector to deliver needed infrastructure improvements.
Points to Get Across to Candidates for the U.S. House and Senate:
Start off by telling them your name, your company name, where it is located, the number of people employed, and what projects your company is working on in their area. Then tell them:
- You appreciate their taking action at the end of July to keeping highway and transit funds flowing to the states.
- But that does not mean the job is done.
- Congress needs to enact a long-term, sustainable revenue solution for the Highway Trust Fund before the end of 2014.
- Otherwise, the HTF will again face a solvency crisis in early 2015.
- In sum, it’s time for Congress to enact a permanent fix for the Highway Trust Fund!
Please contact ARTBA’s Dean Franks at 202.289.4434 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or requests for assistance in reaching candidates for federal office in your state.