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TCC Cautions Congress About its Failure to Act

With October 1 marking the beginning of fiscal year 2015, the 31-member organization Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) urged Congress to find a way to pay for, and pass, a new long-term surface transportation measure as soon as possible. They cautioned that failure to act would lead to another self-imposed funding crisis that would undermine vital road, highway and transit repairs.

"We worked hard to build broad consensus within a deeply-divided Congress for investing in the nation?s aging roads, bridges and transit systems," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America and the Coalition's co-chair. "Members of Congress can either take advantage of that momentum or add transportation funding back to an already-long list of self-created crises threatening our economic vitality."

Coalition officials noted that in July, despite overall partisan gridlock, Congress overwhelmingly extended authorization for the surface transportation program and enacted a temporary funding patch for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). That patch ensures federal highway, bridge and transit investments will continue through next May. However, it was the fifth time in the past seven years Congress took that approach, requiring nearly $65 billion in supplemental funding to avoid significant cuts to transportation investments.

On average, the HTF provides 52 percent of the funding for highway and bridge capital investments made by nation?s state transportation departments each year, Coalition officials added.

"Congress needs to 'keep the horse before the cart' and address the trust fund's long-term revenue problem as was done in the 1997 and 2004 tax bills. Then it can develop and properly fund a six-year program bill early in 2015," TCC co-chair Pete Ruane, president and CEO of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, said. "And 'status-quo' funding levels would simply perpetuate worsening traffic congestion and the inadequate physical condition of the nation?s highway and transit network."

The latest Congressional Budget Office projections indicate Congress will need to identify an additional $7 billion just to preserve highway and transit funding for the last four months of fiscal year 2015. Federal data also show maintaining current program funding beyond 2015 will require an average of $16 billion in additional revenues each year. That, Coalition officials point out, is the revenue equivalent of a 10-cent increase in the federal gas tax.

Despite widespread desire for a multi-year federal surface transportation program reauthorization bill to boost economic competitiveness and job creation, such legislation cannot move forward until a long-term transportation funding solution is in place. Coalition officials are urging Congress to identify and pass a funding HTF revenue fix to ensure Americans and the U.S. economy continue to benefit from a world class transportation network.

Fuel Economy Gains Highlight Need for Highway Trust Fund Action

GAS-150The Environmental Protection Agency just announced that new vehicles achieved  all-time-high fuel economy in 2013. Model year 2013 vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 miles per gallon (mpg) – a 0.5 mpg increase over the previous year and an increase of nearly 5 mpg since 2004.

Read more: Fuel Economy Gains Highlight Need for Highway Trust Fund Action

CASE Unveils “Diamond Dealer” Award Winners

CASE Construction Equipment named its 2014 “Diamond Dealer” recipients as a part of its North American Construction Equipment Partnership Program. The award recognizes dealerships across the country for leadership and dedication in growing the CASE brand, and excellence in five categories, including performance, marketing and communications, product support, parts support and training.

Read more: CASE Unveils “Diamond Dealer” Award Winners