Associations urge Congress to "go big" on transportation infrastructure

Senators looking to quickly seal a bipartisan infrastructure deal as early as this week

July 26, 2021 / 2 minute read
Congress transportation infrastructure

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) urged both Democrat and Republican Congressional leadership to “go big” in terms of funding all modes of transportation.

“We are at a historic crossroads in surface transportation history. Intertwined crises confront us—a catastrophic pandemic, an uncertain economic recovery, a reckoning with racial injustices, and global climate change,” the two groups said in a letter. “Now more than ever, we must find common ground to advance policies and investments to solve these monumental challenges.”

AASHTO and NRDC said Congress should focus its surface transportation work on three key areas: Securing long-term revenues and timely passage of five-year surface reauthorization legislation; Carbon reduction, including electric vehicle charging infrastructure and expanded low-carbon travel options; and advancing racial justice and incorporating equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of transportation.

In addition, the National Governors Association (NGA) recently released the following statement as Congress considers a bipartisan proposal that would provide $579 billion in infrastructure investments:

“Now more than ever it is critical for Senators on both sides of the aisle to iron out the details of the agreement and finalize legislative text. Governors encourage negotiators to consider NGA’s Principles for National Infrastructure Investment. These carefully selected, bipartisan priorities underscore the importance of the state-federal partnership when building and maintaining infrastructure."

Finally, The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) recently released the following statement urging the Senate to continue its work towards a bipartisan solution on infrastructure:

"The American people expect their leaders to work together to solve problems. That’s what the engineering industry is doing every day—designing safer roads and bridges, producing cleaner water, and developing more reliable and sustainable energy sources. We know there are thoughtful and dedicated Senators on both sides of the aisle continuing to work together to craft a generational investment in the built environment that will bolster economic growth and provide transformational change for the American people."

A recent economic analysis from ACEC estimates that the bipartisan agreement would create more than 82,000 full and part-time jobs in engineering and design services, generate $62 billion in A/E industry wages and add $75 billion to GDP. 

A report from the Associated Press (AP) says Senators are looking to quickly seal a bipartisan infrastructure deal as early as this week. According to AP, the lead Republican negotiator, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, said the two sides were “about 90% of the way there” on an agreement. One of the major roadblocks at present is how much money should go to public transit. 

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SOURCE: AASHTO / NRDC / NGA / ACEC / Associated Press

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