The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association’s (NSSGA) Executive Committee endorsed a resolution calling on Congress to act expeditiously to pass a surface transportation reauthorization bill before the extension of the current law expires on June 30. The resolution was sent to all members of Congress.
The resolution touts the benefits of the nation’s surface transportation network, which is the platform of the U.S. economy. The bill would generate $380 billion in total economic activity, reduce fuel spent idling in traffic and support 3.4 million American full-time jobs created by transportation construction.
“We are urging all political leaders in the Senate and House – Republicans and Democrats – to move this legislation immediately to ensure for a safe, efficient and reliable highway system that is so vital to America’s future economic growth, quality of life and security,” said NSSGA Chairman Ronald Summers, senior vice president, Materials Division, CalPortland Co., Glendora, Calif.
NSSGA’s Executive Committee asked members of Congress to enact the transportation reauthorization bill prior to the expiration of the current law extension on June 30, 2012, that:
- Maintains level funding at a minimum.
- Guarantees federal highway user fees are used for their intended core purposes.
- Enacts programmatic reforms.
- Requires environmental streamlining to speed up the approval process for highway projects needed to relieve the congestion plaguing our country and costing Americans billions of dollars annually.
In addition, a coalition of construction and labor groups launched an advertising blitz to further pressure Congress, targeting four members of a congressional conference committee urging them to complete action on a new highway and transit bill. Noting that there are more than 1,600 deficient bridges combined in their four districts, the radio ads ask constituents to urge their members of Congress to make sure a transportation bill is completed to help fix local roads, bridges and transit systems.
“With billions of dollars at stake, and thousands of good paying jobs, it is time for Congress to take action,” the new radio ads note. They ask “will your congressman be part of the problem, or part of the transportation solution?”
The four members of Congress – Dave Camp (R-Mich.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) and Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) – are all members of the congressional conference committee that is currently negotiating a new bill. The bill would allow the federal transportation program, which invests nearly $60 billion a year in highway, bridge and transit improvements, to continue after the June 30 expiration.
The four members of Congress are being targeted either because this is the first time they have been involved in negotiating a transportation bill (Southerland and Lankford) or because they serve on finance and tax committees in Congress and are in a position to help ensure the federal transportation program has adequate funding to improve road, bridge and transit quality and safety (Camp and Tiberi).