WASHINGTON, D.C. / FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 24, 2015) / Contact: , (202) 463-5464
ATM Coalition Cheers Swift, Unanimous Passage of DRIVE Act by Senate EPW Committee
The Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition applauds the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) for swift and unanimous passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act (DRIVE) Act. With this action, the Senate is finally heading down the road to a long-term, fully funded transportation program.
The ATM Coalition commends U.S. Sens. EPW Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), EPW Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-CA), EPW Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman David Vitter (R-La.), and EPW Senior Member Tom Carper (D-Del.) as they, “help set the tone for America’s economic future by putting our nation back on the map as the best place to do business” through the DRIVE Act and their fellow Committee members for acting so rapidly to progress the legislation. The pattern of short-term extensions in this and recent years has created uncertainty and a lack of confidence among state transportation officials nationwide, and the very real impact of seven states delaying or canceling projects valued at $1.63 billion; a total of 19 states have expressed concerns about the feasibility of future transportation projects.
The wheels have gone around and around in Congress while the nation’s roads, bridges and public transit systems have deteriorated. Now it is time for the rest of Congress to follow the lead of Senate EPW leaders and Committee members. We call on the other authorizing committees to finish their work and pass compelling, long-term programmatic packages.
The tax-writing committees must make good on commitments to find the payfors—or seek to exempt the long-term successor to MAP-21 from pay-go as was done for the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate legislation earlier this year. Both House and Senate leadership must prioritize action on a highway and transit bill and establish—and articulate publicly—a clear procedural path forward and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee – and entire U.S. House of Representatives must follow suit.
It time to put this process into overdrive and pass and sign a long-term bill with funding that is adequate to address the nation’s transportation infrastructure needs. Short-term and chronic underfunding of the Highway Trust Fund is an issue that impacts every single American consumer and business. We call on Congress to reverse this trend and move or country in the right direction for the benefit of Americans today and future generations.
The Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition is a collaborative effort by business, labor, transportation stakeholders and concerned citizens to advocate for improved and increased federal investment in the nation’s aging and overburdened transportation system. The coalition believes the deterioration of the nation’s transportation system undermines the economy, jeopardizes our safety, threatens our quality of life, and harms the environment.