Today (5-15-19), members of Congress and the Highway Materials Group held a press conference on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol that focused on the impact of a strong federal investment in our nation’s infrastructure.
Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., chairman of the Ways & Means Committee’s Tax Policy Subcommittee, and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., ranking member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Highway & Transit Subcommittee, joined with members from construction materials industries and companies to highlight the need for #InfrastructureNow!
“Every day we don’t act to improve our nation’s infrastructure, we fall further behind our global competitors,” said Blumenauer, chairman of the Ways & Means Committee’s Tax Policy Subcommittee. “It is past time that we step up and demonstrate the courage necessary to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill. I look forward to working with the Highway Materials Group and vast array of supporters in finally delivering for the American people.”
Davis said that federal spending on infrastructure decreased 20 percent in the past 16 years when adjusted for inflation. “We need major investment in our infrastructure if our economy is going to continue to thrive. I’m encouraged by the interest of both parties to get something done on infrastructure this Congress, but we have to figure out a way to pay for it. I believe it is long past time to consider ways to diversify funding streams for transportation projects and it’s the only way to guarantee long-term sustainability. I’m looking forward to continuing these conversations throughout Infrastructure Week and as we work to get a bill done,” he said.
NSSGA Chairman Bob Weldon called on Congress to find a sustainable funding mechanism for the Highway Trust Fund, which becomes insolvent next year. “Almost 40 percent of the bridges in this nation are so old, they would qualify for AARP membership. Our nation is facing a backlog of more than $800 billion in highway and bridge capital needs. Our organizations, and the men and women we represent, are urging Congress to focus on funding meaningful infrastructure investment, he said.”
NSSGA will report on additional speakers from the HMG meetings and the Transportation Construction Coalition Fly-In happening this week.