With senators and representatives home for at least another week as part of the Easter Congressional recess, ARTBA is urging its members and other supporters to press federal lawmakers to fix the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
Congress returns to Washington, D.C., April 13, and the current extension of the highway and transit investment programs financed through the HTF expires May 31. That leaves just six weeks to fix problems that eight months ago members of both parties and both chambers agreed needed to be solved.
The clock is ticking.
The HTF faces its sixth revenue shortfall in eight years later this summer. If Congress doesn’t act, the U.S. Department of Transportation says it will begin slowing down reimbursements to the states in July, and the trust fund would be unable to meet its obligations by September.
That could be bad news for industry firms and their employees that do transportation-related work in local communities.
ARTBA wants its members to make a point of seeing their lawmakers while they are at home.
If you can’t buttonhole them in person, use the ARTBA toll-free Action Hotline (1-888-448-2782), or download the “Transcon Advocate App” to your smartphone to get state-specific information, or to send a message.
Key points to deliver to members of Congress:
- Use the time before May 31 to develop the long-term Highway Trust Fund revenue plan necessary to fund a multi-year surface transportation bill;
- More short-term extensions are unacceptable;
- State governments rely on federal funds for 52 percent of their annual highway and bridge capital improvements;
- Continued uncertainty undermines the ability of the private sector to create jobs and make new capital investments that boost local economies;
- Robust transportation funding is critical to helping improving infrastructure safety, as revealed by ARTBA’s latest analysis of deficient bridge data.