ATM Applauds House Passage of Long-Term Transportation Bill, Urges House-Senate Conference to Swiftly Arrive at Robust Agreement
WASHINGTON, D.C. / FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 5, 2015
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition leaders today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for its passage of the Surface Transportation Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2015 (STRRA), a long-term approach to reauthorize funding for the nation’s federal transportation systems.
The STRR Act seeks to address America’s significant transportation infrastructure needs and aims to help state and local officials make focused investments in freight transportation systems to keep the U.S. competitive, reduce bureaucratic red tape, speed transportation project delivery, provide funding certainty, and create greater transparency and accountability in how federal funds are spent.
“Through their efforts to move a long-term bill toward conference committee and the president’s desk, members of the House who voted for the bill showed real leadership today,” said Ron Eidshaug, vice president for Congressional and Public Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which leads the ATM Coalition. “We commend them and now urge the House-Senate conference committee to rapidly arrive at an agreement so that the federal government can continue to help meet the critical transportation needs for communities across the country.”
The current short-term extension expires Nov. 20. The House-Senate conference committee must now reconcile the STRR Act with the Senate DRIVE Act to arrive at a bill that meets the nation’s substantial and still growing transportation needs.
The federal government historically has provided more than half of states’ transportation construction funds. Yet inadequate federal funding, combined with under-funding in most states, has led seven states to delay or cancel projects valued at $1.63 billion while 19 states have expressed concerns about the feasibility of future transportation projects. The ATM Coalition has repeatedly stated the need for long-term, full-funded Congressional action.
“U.S. communities, businesses and consumers have waited years for a long-term transportation solution that will begin to make their transportation systems faster, better and safer,” said Eidshaug. “ATM Members urge conferees to fund highway and public transit programs at the highest possible levels for the longest duration possible. It is imperative that House and Senate conferees work together quickly and effectively to solidify an agreement and get this done for the American people.”
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.