ATM Applauds House Action, Urges Expedient Passage by Senate
WASHINGTON, D.C. / FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 3, 2015
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition leaders today applauded U.S. House of Representatives passage of the “Funding America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act” and urged the U.S. Senate to expeditiously pass the bill to ensure continued funding for and needed certainty around America’s highway and public transit programs.
“Congress has taken major steps toward passing the first long-term, robust transportation bill in a decade,” said Ed Mortimer, executive director of the ATM Coalition and executive director of Transportation Infrastructure, Congressional and Public Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which leads the ATM Coalition. “Today’s House vote was an important leap that puts us just shy of the finish line.”
The FAST Act is a $305 billion bill that extends federal transportation funding for the next five years with federal gas tax revenue at the current level and a package of offsets from other areas of the federal budget. The legislation also seeks to provide even greater flexibility for state and local governments in spending on necessary projects and an expanded focus on transportation projects that are national or regional in scope. The FAST Act was released earlier this week by Surface Transportation Bill conference committee members who were charged with arriving at an agreement that reconciled the differences between House and Senate versions of a multi-year surface transportation bill.
“Ultimately the country needs a dedicated, sustainable funding source to meet the nation’s tremendous and still growing transportation infrastructure needs,” Mortimer continued. “However the FAST Act is a bipartisan compromise that will provide states across America with certainty around which they can plan and carry out critical transportation projects for at least five years.”
Inadequate federal funding, combined with under-funding in most states, has led at least 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.
“Congress has brought this historic piece of legislation to the threshold,” Mortimer continued. “It is time for the Senate 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.