Late yesterday, a letter was sent to U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) in which nearly 40 government bodies, agencies, and advocacy groups stringently urged the Senate majority leader to act swiftly on the America's Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), which recently made it out of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on a unanimous vote of support.
The five-year, $287 billion act would yield a $37.9 billion increase above existing levels of highway investment, plus inflation. In FY 2021, ATIA would increase highway investment by 17%, with modest increases in subsequent years.
The substance of the letter and a list of its signatories follows here:
The Honorable Mitch McConnell Majority Leader
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Leader McConnell:
October 17, 2019
The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee’s America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), S. 2302, provides a rare opportunity to benefit all states and continue the nation’s longest economic expansion in history. While the EPW Committee has unanimously approved a critical federal infrastructure initiative, it is up to the rest of the Senate to take the next steps.
We applaud EPW Committee Chairman Barrasso, Ranking Member Carper and all committee members for proactively moving forward with a reauthorization of the federal highway program more than a year before it expires. History has demonstrated that delaying action on such measures until their deadline leads to two outcomes: short-term extensions; and disruption of state highway improvement plans.
The ATIA is not only timely, but it would also deliver meaningful enhancement to the nation’s highway and bridge infrastructure network. It would provide historic investment levels, deliver beneficial projects faster by cutting red tape, tap private sector capital and innovations, prioritize safety, and improve the quality of life for rural and urban communities. The ATIA is an important foundation to begin addressing the critical need to modernize America’s infrastructure.
The ATIA earned unanimous endorsement of EPW Committee members and supportive comments from President Trump. This unique show of broad, bipartisan cooperation speaks not only to the merits of the legislation, but also to its prospects for passage. The EPW Committee approved a highway program reauthorization in June 2015 that, with your personal support, spurred action from other Senate committees and the House of Representatives. This culminated in the enactment of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act six months later.
We urge you to ensure the progress made on the ATIA continues by committing to schedule a reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs for floor consideration this year. Such a pledge would be an unequivocal signal to the other relevant Senate committees to begin developing their respective components of the final bill.
American Road & Transportation Builders Association
Associated General Contractors of America
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
American Society of Civil Engineers
Associated Equipment Manufacturers
The National Industrial Transportation League
American Public Works Association
Transportation Intermediaries Association
National Association of Chemical Distributors
North America's Building Trades Unions
International Union of Operating Engineers
Laborers International Union of North America
American Public Transportation Association
Equipment Dealers Association
Associated Equipment Distributors
National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc.
American Highway Users Alliance
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
American Council of Engineering Companies
American Concrete Pipe Association
Coalition for America's Gateway & Trade Corridors
Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
National Steel Bridge Alliance
Portland Cement Association
Industrial Minerals Association - North America
American Concrete Pavement Association
Construction & Demolition Recycling Association
American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI)
International Warehouse Logistics Association
National Parking Association
Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA)
National Association of Trailer Manufacturers
Food Marketing Institute
Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association
Associated Wire Rope Fabricators
Building Owners and Managers Association
cc: All U.S. Senators