ATM Urges Expedient Action by Transportation Bill Conferees
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 13, 2015
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition leaders today urged Surface Transportation Bill conferees to expeditiously work together in a bipartisan way to fund highway and public transit programs at the highest possible levels for the longest duration possible and to do so before the current extension expires November 20th.
Following Senate passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act in July and House passage of the Surface Transportation Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2015 (STRRA) November 5th, the House and Senate have named conferees who will ultimately agree on a conference report. The report will go before the House and Senate for a final vote. Both the DRIVE Act and STRR Act provide long-term approaches to reauthorize funding for the nation’s federal transportation systems.
“Congress has taken major steps toward passing the first long-term, robust transportation bill in years,” said Ron Eidshaug, vice president for Congressional and Public Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which leads the ATM Coalition.
The Surface Transportation Bill conference committee is charged with working out an agreement that reconciles the differences between House and Senate versions of the surface transportation bill. It is very possible for the conference committee to reach an agreement on a long-term, robust bill before the current extension expires, however Eidshaug says it is imperative that leadership set a deadline for a conference report and that conferees continue to maintain the same sense of urgency that guided legislation through Congress over the past few months.
“This can get done, and it needs to get done by November 20th,” said Eidshaug. “Congress has brought this historic piece of legislation to the threshold. It is time to walk through the door and complete the job so that communities across the nation can begin to benefit from the billions of dollars tied to this legislation.”
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.