Sample Blog Oct. 29 Deadline: Our Highways, Bridges and Transit Systems Need Action, Not Excuses
Congress did it again – rather than passing a long-term, fully funded bill to reauthorize highway, public transit, and highway safety programs, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed “short-term extensions” to the current legislation that keeps the Highway Trust Fund – which funds America’s federal transportation systems in every state –solvent. These extensions mean our transportation infrastructure has the bare minimum of funding until late October.
Congress’ repeated inaction flies in the face of our nation’s tremendous infrastructure needs and has a negative impact on every American consumer and business. The Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition clearly laid out the case of that need and impact in its publication entitled Americans Deserve a Faster, Better Safer Transportation Network (found here), as well in the coalition’s Cost of Inaction overview.
The bring spot on the horizon comes from the fact that, in addition to passing the latest short-term extension, the Senate went a step further and also passed a six-year bill – a major step in the right direction. Nearly every major hearing and report on the subject shows this is both the right thing to do and imperative for the growth of local communities and the overall economy. It is now up to the U.S. House to understand the urgent need and pass a long-term bill that recognizes several key facts:
- The federal government plays an important role in transportation—a role that goes all the way back to the founding of the country.
- The nation—and the federal government—needs to invest more in maintaining, modernizing, and expanding transportation infrastructure or risk economic consequences.
- The most straightforward, simple solution would be a modest increase in user fees along with indexing those to inflation. That solution is politically difficult, and so there are numerous other options to pay for the planning, design, and construction of roads, bridges, transit system, and safety solutions that could be considered in combination with one another.
- A long-term (4-6 year) policy and funding bill is long overdue, and in order to make productive infrastructure investments for the future Congress and the President need to work together and make this extension of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century the last one.
If you depend on your local transportation system – for your job, your business or your family’s every day needs – share the facts across your networks and communities, send a letter to your Representative today to tell them ‘No more excuses and no more delays,’ and join us at www.fasterbettersafer.org to learn more as developments occur.