NSSGA Comments on Two-Month Transportation Funding Extension
The following article was originally published on the National Sand, Stone & Gravel Association (NSSGA) website
Last night, on a vote of 387 to 35, the U.S. House passed a two-month highway policy patch that will extend the program until July 31. Now the responsibility lies on the Senate to pass the measure on to the president before Congress leaves Friday, May 22, for the Memorial Day recess. Trade and national security are also must-pass bills in the Senate this week so the highway extension will likely pass without a roll call vote or much debate.
Without this measure, the Highway Trust Fund’s contract authority and expenditure authority will run out on May 31, halting reimbursements to states for projects, who in turn cannot pay their bills to contractors. NSSGA expressed frustration about this short term fix in two different letters to Congress. One is from the Highway Materials Group (Click here) that NSSGA founded, and the other comes from Americans for Transportation Mobility (Click here), a broad based coalition in which NSSGA is a leading member.
The latest extension will be the 33rd in the past six years. Several House members cautioned leadership that more members will start to vote no on short-term extensions due to frustration about the lack of action on a multi-year bill. (To see the vote tally click here)
Pam Whitted, NSSGA Sr. Vice President commented, “While we recognize this extension is necessary, the absence of a path towards a multi-year transportation plan is staggering. Give stakeholders a funding option to support and NSSGA, with its partners, will exert every effort to take it across the finish line to passage.”
NSSGA is keeping pressure on Congress to act. NSSGA asks members to take advantage of the upcoming week-long Memorial Day recess to take elected officials on facility tours, attend town hall meetings, or schedule meeting with members in the District office, and continue to let them know the importance of the highway program to your business, your state and the nation. If NSSGA can be of any assistance, contact Government Affairs for assistance.