Surface Transportation Bill, The Road to Needed Investment

By September 22, 2009General, Infrastructure, Taxation

The National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Trucking Associations and AAA in calling for increased support for surface transportation infrastructure — and immediate action to extend the highway bill. The NAM supports quick enactment of  a short-term extension as promoted by House Transportation Chairman Jim Oberstar, allowing for a full-length, seven year surface transportation authorization in 2010.

The day started with an open letter to Congress and the White House, published as an ad in Washington, D.C. newspapers arguing for greater investment in transportation:

  • To reduce traffic congestion thereby enhancing productivity and energy usage;
  • To improve road safety and reduce health care costs associated with preventable vehicle crashes;
  • To lay the competitive foundation making long-term growth and prosperity possible; and
  • To put millions of Americans back to work by helping to sustain an economic recovery.

And what we support, as stated in the ad.

Our organizations believe Congress must address revenue shortfalls in order to finance our nation’s
transportation system at robust levels and we are willing to support revenue approaches, including
increases in federal gasoline and diesel taxes, in order to provide the necessary funding to meet
critical transportation needs. However, because these public policy decisions directly affect our
members, any request that users pay more must be accompanied by legislation that achieves program
reforms, increases accountability, focuses on national objectives, and makes a commitment that
spending will benefit those who make the investment. We must move away from the status quo to
reach these objectives.

Jay Timmons, the NAM’s executive vice president, also participated in telephone news conference at noon today on the topics. Here’s his opening statement.

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