By David Bauer, senior vice president of government relations, ARTBA

A bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives—253 members—signed a June 12 letter urging leaders of the tax-writing Ways & Means Committee to include a long-term Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenue solution as part of legislation being developed to reform the nation’s tax code.

In addition to this level of support far exceeding the 218 votes needed to pass legislation in the House, a majority of each party’s membership in the chamber signed the letter—119 Republicans and 134 Democrats.

House Highways & Transit Subcommittee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Ranking Democrat Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.) led the effort to send a powerful signal about the broad-based, bipartisan support that exists for a tangible and sustainable way to pay for future highway and public transportation investments.

“The president has made rebuilding our transportation network a priority, and rightfully so,” Graves said. “But, instead of thinking a one-time, trillion dollar investment would solve our long-term infrastructure problems, my focus is on making sure we’re being responsible in how we plan for and fund projects in the future.”

He continued, “The best thing we can do for this country’s transportation infrastructure is bring long-term certainty to the Highway Trust Fund.”

The Graves-Norton letter notes, “Any HTF solution should entail a long-term, dedicated, user-based revenue stream that can support the transportation infrastructure investment supported by President Trump and members of Congress.”

Upon release of the letter, the ARTBA co-chaired Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) commended the leadership of Representatives Graves and Norton and thanked all members of Congress who supported this meaningful effort.  The TCC statement also observed:

“The letter makes crystal clear that members of both parties are seeking a break from the budget gimmicks and general fund transfers of the past.  It is also a welcome contrast to the Trump administration’s budget proposal to ignore the Highway Trust Fund’s fiscal situation and arbitrarily constrain spending—an approach that would result in $100 billion in highway and public transportation investment cuts through FY 2027.”

We greatly appreciate the many ARTBA members and state contractor affiliates who urged their representatives to sign the Graves-Norton letter. Your assistance and commitment to achieving a permanent and growing HTF revenue solution was essential to the success of this effort.

As Chairman Graves observed, “this letter is a critical step in this process,” but we are off to a good start. Read the final Graves-Norton letter, including all the signatories, or see the members arranged by state.