Reauthorization crawls toward reality

Industry associations encourage Congress to keep up the good work

Editorial/Commentary News AASHTO, AHUA November 18, 2011
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The potential highway bill’s progress through the Congress is being closely watched by transportation industry associations. The American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has released a video of an influential member of the House of Representatives, who said Congress "will pass" a highway and transit bill.

 

In a new video by AASHTO’s Transportation TV, House Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. responds candidly to questions about critical issues such as environmental streamlining, the prospects for passage of a surface transportation reauthorization bill during the 112th Congress and the current state of bipartisanship in Washington.

 

A member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee during each of the 23 years he has served in Congress, the Tennessee Republican's expertise and his well-publicized efforts to limit government spending and cut bureaucratic waste and red tape make him the ideal subject for this "View from the Hill" segment on Transportation TV. Rep. Duncan's video can be viewed at www.transportationtv.org.

 

The American Highway Users Alliance has released a statement in support of the House’s work toward passing a bill before the end of the year.

 

The Highway Users commended Speaker Boehner, Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica and other House lawmakers for announcing their plan to introduce the House highway bill in the coming weeks. The House will move forward a five-year bill, H.R. 7: “The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act,” which should be moved through the House before the end of the year.

 

Highway Users President and CEO Greg Cohen remarked, “This is a big step forward. We look forward to reviewing the contents of the bill when Chairman Mica formally introduces it next month. The policy priorities established by Chairman Mica are good news for motorists, truckers and other highway users.

 

“We applaud the plan to streamline bureaucracy and reduce project delays. To garner the support of taxpayers, national priorities should include safety investments, congestion relief, improved condition and performance of major roads and bridges, trucking freight corridors and research. The Highway Users also supports energy independence and we agree that access to America’s own oil resources should be a national priority.

 

“It is critical that funding in the bill remain at current levels, at a minimum, and account for inflation over the next five years.

 

“The long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund is also important. We encourage the House to develop fiscally sustainable funding sources for the Highway Trust Fund.

 

Ultimately, the House bill must be reconciled with the bipartisan Senate bill. We believe it can be done and encourage all members of Congress from both parties to work in good faith to keep America moving.”

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