Tag Archive for 'American Road & Transportation Builders Association'

Statement from Transportation Construction Coalition Co-chairs

ee0d071a-4431-491a-ae5f-0d9154114faeStatement Relating to Senate

Passage of the DRIVE Act

The following is a statement from Transportation Construction Coalition Co-chairs Pete Ruane, president & CEO of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, and Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America regarding the Senate’s approval of a multi-year highway/transit bill:

“On behalf of the 31 national associations and construction trade unions of the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC), we applaud the Senate for passage of a multi-year surface transportation bill that would guarantee real growth in federal highway and public transportation investment over the next three years.  The Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act would also assist state long-term transportation planning by distributing six years of contract authority.

“Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman Inhofe and EPW Committee Ranking Member Boxer demonstrated exemplary leadership in finding the common ground necessary to earn overwhelming bipartisan support for the longest duration surface transportation bill approved by either chamber since 2005.  Furthermore, they accomplished this feat before the current short-term extension of the highway and transit programs expires.

“Today’s Senate vote on the DRIVE Act and the expected enactment of a three-month extension of the surface transportation programs by July 31 should bring to a close once and for all claims that Congress needs “more time” to develop a long-term reauthorization bill and Highway Trust Fund solution.  For more than a year members of both parties and chambers have used this rationalization for kicking the reauthorization can down the road.  The time for any further short-term extensions is over.

“We appreciate House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster’s recent statement reiterating his commitment to producing a multi-year surface transportation bill soon.  Achieving this goal, however, will require House Republican leaders and the Ways & Means Committee to develop a bipartisan plan to generate the resources necessary to grow highway and public transportation investment.  This must be a priority focus over the next six weeks.

“Members of the TCC will spend the August recess making sure all House members hear from their constituents about the need for the House to pass a meaningful, long-term surface transportation bill in September to ensure a final measure can be enacted before the latest short-term extension expires.”

ARTBA Letter to Ways and Means Committee Leadership Uses Government Data to Refute Notion That Gas Tax is No Longer a Reliable Transportation Funding Mechanism

d9cdad69-e8aa-4830-b455-58392c53ea55“Restoring purchasing power for the federal surface transportation investment program is a worthy pro-growth national goal,” American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President & CEO Pete Ruane said in a letter June 23 to House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the committee’s Ranking Democrat Sander Levin (Mich.).

Ruane noted that while the federal gas and diesel excise rates have remained static since 1993, “the price of paving asphalt has risen 170 percent, the price of iron 833d1848-c491-4d71-9832-bb21e1b848beand steel has increased 71 percent and the hourly wage paid a production worker has increased 85 percent.”

Ruane said data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that in 1993 when the gas tax rate was last adjusted, American motorists were being asked to contribute 17 percent of the $1.06 per gallon they paid for motor fuel to help fund federal investments in their highways, bridges and transit systems. “This year,’ he said, motorists are contributing 6.6 percent of the $2.80 per gallon they pay on average for motor fuel to support those investments.”

In the letter, Ruane used data and forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office, Federal Highway Administration and EIA to dispute the assertion that the motor fuels excise is no longer a reliable mechanism for generating a sustainable and predictable revenue stream to support future federal investments in surface transportation improvements.

“The mechanism is stable for the next decade,” he said. “The problem is the excise rate.”

A 15 cents-per-gallon increase in the federal gas tax, which would fund a $400 billion six-year highway and transit authorization, “would restore the user pays principle, cost the average motorist less than 25 cents as day and end this morally bankrupt cycle of dumping more and more debt on our children and grandchildren to pay today’s highway and transit bills,” the ARTBA leader said.

Ruane pointed out such a move could also quickly end the chronic congressional search for non-user revenue to bail-out its highway and transit authorizations. “Treasury could begin collecting additional revenue from a rate adjustment as soon as Congress and the president give it statutory authority to do so,” he said.

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Leading Industry Groups ARTBA & AEM Issue Statements on the 
Senate’s Surface Transportation Proposal

d9cdad69-e8aa-4830-b455-58392c53ea55ARTBA President & CEO Statement on the 
Senate’s Surface Transportation Proposal 

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President & CEO Pete Ruane issued the following statement regarding the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s “Developing a Reliable & Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act”:

“Getting beyond the gridlock that has been strangling federal investment in the nation’s mobility is going to take bipartisan cooperation and leadership. Senators Inhofe, Boxer, Vitter and Carper have stepped up and done their job by outlining a multi-year highway and public transit program that will make America more competitive.

“Now it’s time for the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees to do theirs and provide the path forward with a sustainable revenue stream for the Highway Trust Fund. Transportation investment is a core federal responsibility. It’s time to transcend politics and do the right thing for America.”

AEM_logo_wo_cmykAEM’s Dennis Slater Speaks out on the 
Senate’s Surface Transportation Proposal 

AEM welcomes the introduction of legislation from Senators Inhofe and Boxer that would meet our nation’s surface transportation needs at robust levels for a full six years. The DRIVE Act represents a serious and bipartisan attempt at breaking the cycle of borrowing just to fund the Highway Trust Fund every few months at a time.

Equipment manufacturers look forward to Senate consideration of this important legislation in the Environment and Public Works Committee and sincerely hope that other relevant committees – including the Senate Finance Committee – soon follow suit.

With another deadline on the horizon, it’s imperative that Congress takes action both swiftly and purposefully to address the Highway Trust Fund. The equipment

ARTBA-Supported Ad Campaigns Launched on Multiple Fronts to Push Highway Trust Fund Fix

d9cdad69-e8aa-4830-b455-58392c53ea55Ads Coincide with House & Senate Tax Committee
Hearings this Week on Long-Term Transportation Funding

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and its industry allies are launching advertising campaigns on multiple mediums this week to draw congressional attention to the urgent need to find a permanent solution for the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF).

ARTBA is running a 60-second television ad touting its “Getting Beyond Gridlock” (GBG) proposal.  GBG marries a 15 cents-per-gallon increase in the federal gas and diesel motor fuels tax with an offsetting federal tax rebate for middle and lower income Americans for six years, if necessary. The plan would fund a six-year, $401 billion, highway and public transit capital investment program and provide sustainable, user-based funds to support it for at least the next 10 years.  The TV spot will air multiple times June 16-18 on Fox and CNN inside Washington, D.C.  Watch the ad.

The association has also deployed companion digital ads that direct congressional staff to the GBG website for additional information about how their states would benefit from the program’s implementation.

The HTF is the source, on average, of more than 50 percent of highway and bridge capital investments made annually by state governments.  The latest funding authorization for the highway and public transit program expires July 31.  The House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees are holding hearings this week to explore long-term funding options to improve the trust fund’s fiscal health.

ARTBA said it has also produced a new print ad that will run this week in Capitol Hill publications.  “There is one sure way to sustainably end the Highway Trust Fund’s chronic cash flow problem… and not just for five or six years.  Increase the federal motor fuels excise rate by 15-cents per gallon and index it to inflation,” the ad reads.  “The government’s energy experts see pretty stable short term motor fuel consumption ahead.  Adjusting the gas and diesel excise rate now will result in a highly predictable and reliable revenue stream for Highway Trust Fund investments for years to come,” the ad concludes.

To compliment these efforts, the ARTBA co-chaired Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) and the American Public Transportation Association are partnering on a 60-second television ad this week highlighting President Ronald Reagan’s 1982 gas tax increase proposal to support highway and public transit improvements.  It will air June 16-18 on CNN and Fox News inside Washington, D.C.  The TCC is also running a companion June 16-18 during morning and afternoon drive time on Washington’s top rated, news talk station, WTOP.

ARTBA Statement from Capitol Hill News Event on Federal Transportation Funding

d9cdad69-e8aa-4830-b455-58392c53ea55The following is the statement delivered today by American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Bill Toohey at a Capitol Hill news conference with senators to discuss highway and transit funding

“It’s a truism that has been said many times before: we do not have a Republican road network. We do not have a Democratic road network. We have an American road network… an American bridge network… and an American transit network.

“And if one thing has been learned over the past decade, it’s that neither political party has had the will to enact a long-term funding solution when they had the numbers and opportunity to do it. It is going to take bipartisan cooperation… a bipartisan solution… and bipartisan political risk to get the job done.

“And by long-term solution, we do not mean a four- to six-year patch. That will just leave us facing another $16 billion a year-plus funding cliff at the end of the next authorization. We want a sustainable funding solution to put this critical national program back on solid footing for the next decade.

“While some are worried about the political consequences of voting for a real trust fund fix, the rest of America is worried about commute times growing… bridges being closed… shipping costs increasing… and jobs being lost.

“It’s time for both parties to work together for America to put this behind us.”