Tag Archive for 'Association of Equipment Manufacturers'

In Memory of Duane Arthur Wilder — February 3, 1953 – August 13, 2015

 

UnknownDuane Wilder, 62, passed away on August 13th while resting in his home in Williamsburg, VA. Born in Alpena, MI, he was the oldest son of Shirley (Keetch) and the late Arthur Wilder, and the brother of Darwin and Dennis Wilder. He is survived by his wife, Jackie (Morris) and their 3 children: Samantha Wilder, Cody Wilder, and Nicole Maaguo, along with her husband and their 3 children, Nadia, Olivia and Greyson, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was the first person in his family to graduate college, completing his degree at Briar Cliff College.

Duane was a respected businessman who started his career as a young co-owner of Alpena Ford Tractor, before marrying and moving to Iowa to launch a career with J.I. Case Corporation in their Manager Training program. Duane’s work ethic, business sense and friendly nature led to the first of many promotions in his career when he became Retail Operations Manager, North America for J.I. Case in Racine, WI. He would continue to rise and lead multiple agricultural and heavy equipment companies to significant growth, including his 11-year term as President of Liebherr Construction Equipment Co.

Duane took great pride in his ability to provide jobs and would surprise employees with handwritten cards after an illness or birthday. His approachable nature earned him many friends and respect within the industry, serving roles as Board Member and Treasurer for AEM (Association of Equipment Manufacturers), Board Member and Vice Chair for CE Sector, Board Member for AED Foundation (Association of Equipment Distributors), Member of AED Industry Roundtable, Life Member of and past State and National Judge for Future Farmers of America, President of Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair Industrial Development Commission in Ida Grove, IA.

Always a proud father, Duane recently gathered with his family and grandchildren to celebrate his youngest daughter’s law school graduation in May. Arrangements are by the Nelson Funeral Home with Green Funeral Home assisting. Friends and family are invited for a ceremony to celebrate Duane’s life beginning with visitation at 9:30am on Wednesday, August 19th at Hillman Free Methodist Church, followed by a Service at 11:00am. For those who wish, memorial donations may be made to Alpena Community College Scholarship Fund for Non-Traditional Students, in lieu of flowers (http://discover.alpenacc.edu/about_acc/donate.php)

Editor’s note: I was fortunate to have had the privilege of knowing Duane during his days at CASE, AEM and his leadership role at Liebherr. His contributions to the industry made a difference and the void his passing leaves will never be filled.

Register by August 21 for ICUEE 2015 to Save Time, Money

Preview the Utility Industry’s Future at ‘The Demo Expo’

Register by August 21 for the 2015 ICUEE-The Demo Expo to save 50 percent off the badge fee plus receive discounted education fees. You can now register via any mobile device.

ICUEE 2015 will feature extensive hands-on equipment demonstrations in job-like conditions, best-practices education from leading industry organizations and unparalleled industry networking opportunities.

“This is where our industry gathers to see what’s new and what’s coming that will affect their jobs and their businesses, and it’s a showcase for the technology that will benefit the industry through safer operations and increased efficiencies,” said Tim Ford, ICUEE 2015 chair and president of Terex Cranes for Terex Corporation.

“The show also serves as an industry platform to explore issues such as workforce development and the need for a more comprehensive infrastructure strategy,” said Ford.

ICUEE 2015 will be held September 29-October 1 in Louisville, Kentucky USA (Kentucky Exposition Center).

ICUEE, the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition, is also known as The Demo Expo and is the largest event for the utility industry, owned and produced by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The show brings together industry professionals to gain comprehensive insights into the latest technologies, innovations and trends affecting their industry.

No other event offers the number and scope of hands-on and live demonstrations for the utility industry.

Past attendees overwhelmingly cite the demo feature as a factor in their decision to attend and an influence on their buying decisions. More than 97 percent of attendees at the last ICUEE said the show value was good to excellent.

ICUEE 2015 will feature specialized exhibit pavilions for fleet management, safety, and green utility, plus a Ride & Drive test track (for on-road equipment and technologies) and indoor Demo Stage, in addition to the extensive in-booth exhibitor product demos.

Attendees will find an enhanced show experience:

More transportation options with improved shuttles and new express vehicles to help navigate the show and find new products faster
More places to take a break, including the Fuel Stop outdoors in Area Q with refreshments, Wi-Fi and mobile device charging stations
More Details: Benefit Auction to Connect Military Veterans with Jobs (Heroes Day)

At ICUEE 2015, a special Heroes Day on October 1 will recognize the importance of utility professionals and salute our military heroes with a benefit auction and other events.
The Heroes Day auction will benefit military veteran job placement services with 100 percent of the proceeds going to The Call of DutyTM Endowment. Heroes Day will also feature Lunch on Us and a Toast to Our Heroes bourbon tasting.

Click here to learn more about the ICUEE Benefit Auction and The Call of Duty Endowment.

Visit www.icuee.com for the latest show information.

About ICUEE – www.icuee.com

The International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE), also known as The Demo Expo, is held every two years and focuses on the job needs of utilities and utility contractors in the electric, telecommunications/cable, natural gas, water and wastewater sectors. With 25 acres of exhibits to explore, attendees can test-drive the latest equipment, watch live demonstrations of new products and technologies, and take advantage of best-practices industry education.

About AEM -www.aem.org
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 900 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.

TRIP: New Report Identifies U.S. Urban Areas With Roughest Roads And Highest Costs To Drivers – As Much As $1,044 Annually. As Travel Growth Returns To Pre-Recession Rates, Road Conditions Expected To Decline Further Without Additional Funding At Local, State & Federal Levels.

TRIPDriving on deteriorated urban roads costs motorists as much as $1,044 annually, according to a new report that evaluates pavement conditions in the nation’s large (500,000+ population) and mid-sized urban areas (250,000-500,000 population) and calculates the additional costs passed on to motorists as a result of driving on rough roads. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation, and increasing needed maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear.

 

Driving on deteriorated urban roads costs motorists as much as $1,044 annually, according to a new report that evaluates pavement conditions in the nation’s large (500,000+ population) and mid-sized urban areas (250,000-500,000 population) and calculates the additional costs passed on to motorists as a result of driving on rough roads. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation, and increasing needed maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear.

These findings were released today by TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. The report, Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother,” examines urban pavement conditions, transportation funding, travel trends and economic development. Pavement condition and vehicle operating costs for urban areas with populations of 250,000 or greater can be found in the report and appendices. The charts below detail large and mid-sized urban areas with the highest vehicle operating costs (VOC) and highest share of pavements in poor conditions.

Rank  

Large Urban Area (500,000+ population)

Percent Poor Rank Large Urban Area (500,000+ population) VOC Per Driver
1 San Francisco–Oakland, CA 74% 1 San Francisco-Oakland, CA $ 1,044
2 Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA 73% 2 Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA $ 1,031
3 Concord, CA 62%   3 Concord, CA $     954
4 Detroit, MI 56% 4 Tulsa, OK $     928
5 San Jose, CA 53% 5 Oklahoma City, OK $     917
6 Cleveland, OH 52% 6 Detroit, MI $     866
7 New York–Newark, NY 51% 7 Cleveland, OH $     845
8 San Diego, CA 51% 8 San Jose, CA $     844
9 Grand Rapids, MI 51% 9 San Diego, CA $     843
10 Honolulu, HI 51% 10 San Antonio, TX $     838
11 Akron, OH 50% 11 El Paso, TX $     815
12 San Antonio, TX 49% 12 Riverside–San Bernardino, CA $     812
13 Milwaukee, WI 46% 13 Grand Rapids, MI $     803
14 Riverside–San Bernardino, CA 46% 14 Akron, OH $     797
15 El Paso, TX 46% 15 New York–Newark, NY $     791
16 Oklahoma City, OK 45% 16 Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX $     791
17 Tulsa, OK 45% 17 Birmingham, AL $     784
18 New Haven, CT 45% 18 Honolulu, HI $     777
19 Bridgeport-Stamford, CT 44% 19 Houston, TX $     772
20 Birmingham, AL 43% 20 Sacramento, CA $     767
21 Denver–Aurora, CO 43% 21 Milwaukee, WI $     753
22 Seattle, WA 42% 22 Denver–Aurora, CO $     737
23 Omaha, NE 42% 23 Omaha, NE $     729
24 Sacramento, CA 42% 24 Colorado Springs, CO $     723
25 New Orleans, LA 42% 25 New Orleans, LA $     713

 

Rank Mid-sized Urban Area

(250,000-500,000 population)

Percent Poor Rank Mid-sized Urban Area

(250,000-500,000 population)

VOC Per Driver
1 Flint, MI 54% 1 Temecula–Murrieta, CA $ 857
2 Antioch, CA 52% 2 Flint, MI $ 839
3 Santa Rosa, CA 49% 3 Antioch, CA $ 831
4 Trenton, NJ 48% 4 Jackson, MS $ 818
5 Temecula–Murrieta, CA 47% 5 Santa Rosa, CA $ 811
6 Scranton, PA 46% 6 Trenton, NJ $ 764
7 Reno, NV 46% 7 Hemet, CA $ 758
8 Spokane, WA 44% 8 Reno, NV $ 748
9 Jackson, MS 44% 9 Lansing, MI $ 733
10 Lansing, MI 39% 10 Scranton, PA $ 717
11 Baton Rouge, LA 38% 11 McAllen, TX $ 716
12 Shreveport, LA 36% 12 Baton Rouge, LA $ 705
13 Madison, WI 36% 13 Spokane, WA $ 685
14 Hemet, CA 36% 14 Madison, WI $ 685
15 Stockton, CA 34% 15 Oxnard, CA $ 669
16 McAllen, TX 33% 16 Victorville–Hesperia–Apple Valley, CA $ 664
17 Victorville-Hesperia-Apple Valley, CA 32% 17 Shreveport, LA $ 663
18 Davenport, IA 31% 18 Stockton, CA $ 657
19 Syracuse, NY 30% 19 Modesto, CA $ 636
20 Modesto, CA 30% 20 Davenport, IA $ 591
21 Oxnard, CA 30% 21 Wichita, KS $ 591
22 Provo–Orem, UT 30% 22 Provo–Orem, UT $ 583
23 Lancaster, PA 27% 23 Ann Arbor, MI $ 571
24 Fort Wayne, IN 27% 24 Reading, PA $ 555
25 Ann Arbor, MI 26% 25 Corpus Christi, TX $ 549

In 2013 more than one quarter (28 percent) of the nation’s major urban roads– Interstates, freeways and other arterial routes – had pavements that were in substandard condition and provided an unacceptably rough ride to motorists, costing the average urban driver $516 annually. The nationwide annual cost of driving on deteriorated roads totals $109.3 billion.

In 2013 more than one quarter (28 percent) of the nation’s major urban roads– Interstates, freeways and other arterial routes – had pavements that were in substandard condition and provided an unacceptably rough ride to motorists, costing the average urban driver $516 annually. The nationwide annual cost of driving on deteriorated roads totals $109.3 billion.

“The nation’s rough roads stress nerves and cost billions in unnecessary vehicle replacement, repair and fuel costs,” said Jill Ingrassia, AAA managing director of government relations and traffic safety advocacy. “Full investment in our nation’s transportation system will reduce the financial burden on drivers and provide them with a smoother, safer and more efficient ride.”

The federal government is a critical source of funding for road and highway repairs. But the lack of adequate funding beyond the expiration of the current federal surface transportation program, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), which expires on July 31, 2015, threatens the future condition of the nation’s roads and highways.

“The long-term preservation and maintenance of our national transportation system depends on federal investment,” said Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). “We can do better than the uncertainty of short-term extensions. America needs Congress to fully fund a multi-year surface transportation bill.”

With vehicle travel growth rates returning to pre-recession levels and large truck travel anticipated to grow significantly, mounting wear and tear on the nation’s urban roads and highways is expected to increase the cost of needed highway repairs. Vehicle travel, which remained largely unchanged from 2008 to 2013, increased by 1.7 percent from 2013 to 2014 and increased 3.9 percent during the first four months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. And, the amount of large commercial truck travel in the U.S. is expected to increase by 72 percent from 2015 to 2030.

“The deteriorating condition of our nation’s urban roads threatens the health of the nation’s economy, reducing the efficiency of a region’s businesses and employers,” said Janet Kavinoky, Executive Director, Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and vice president of the Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition. “Attracting jobs and expanding a region’s economy requires a well-maintained, efficient and safe transportation system. Funding needed transportation improvements must be a top priority at the federal, state and local levels and Congress must do its part by authorizing an adequately funded, long-term federal transportation bill.”

“With state and local governments struggling to fund needed road repairs and with federal surface transportation funding set to expire this month, road conditions are projected to get even worse,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Congress could reduce the extra costs borne by motorists driving on rough roads by authorizing a long-term, adequately funded federal transportation program that improves road conditions on the nation’s major roads and highways.”

Bumpy Roads Ahead:

America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother

Executive Summary

Keeping the wheel steady on America’s roads and highways has become increasingly challenging as drivers encounter potholes and pavement deterioration. More than a quarter of the nation’s major urban roadways – highways and major streets that are the main routes for commuters and commerce – are in poor condition. These critical links in the nation’s transportation system carry 53 percent of the approximately 3 trillion miles driven annually in America.

With the rate of vehicle travel returning to pre-recession levels and local and state governments unable to adequately fund road repairs while the current federal surface transportation program is set to expire on July 31, 2015, road conditions could get even worse in the future.

In this report, TRIP examines the condition of the nation’s major urban roads, including pavement condition data for America’s most populous urban areas, recent trends in travel, the latest developments in repairing roads and building them to last longer, and the funding levels needed to adequately address America’s deteriorated roadways.

For the purposes of this report, an urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas. Pavement condition data are the latest available and are derived from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) 2013 annual survey of state transportation officials on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways, based on a uniform pavement rating index. The pavement rating index measures the level of smoothness of pavement surfaces, supplying information on the ride quality provided by road and highway surfaces. The major findings of the TRIP report are:

More than a quarter of the nation’s major urban roads are rated in substandard or poor condition, providing motorists and truckers with a rough ride and increasing the cost of operating a vehicle.

  • More than one-quarter (28 percent) of the nation’s major urban roads – Interstates, freeways and other arterial routes – have pavements that are in substandard condition and provide an unacceptably rough ride to motorists.
  • An additional 41 percent of the nation’s major urban roads and highways have pavements that are in mediocre or fair condition, and 31 percent are in good condition.
  • Including major rural roads, 18 percent of the nation’s major roads are in poor condition, 40 percent are in mediocre or fair condition, and 42 percent are in good condition.
  • The 25 urban regions with a population of 500,000 or greater with the highest share of major roads and highways with pavements that are in poor condition and provide a rough ride are:

TRIP 1* An urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.

  • The 25 urban regions with a population between 250,000 and 500,000 with the greatest share of major roads and highways with pavements that are in poor condition and provide a rough ride are:

TRIP 2* An urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.

  • A listing of road conditions for each urban area with a population of 500,000 or more can be found in Appendix A. Pavement condition data for urban areas with a population between 250,000 and 500,000 can be found in Appendix B.
  • The average motorist in the U.S. is losing $516 annually — $109.3 billion nationally — in additional vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on roads in need of repair. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation, increasing the frequency of needed maintenance and requiring additional fuel consumption.
  • The 25 urban regions with at least 500,000 people, where motorists pay the most annually in additional vehicle maintenance because of roads in poor condition are:

TRIP3* An urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.

  • The 25 urban regions with a population between 250,000 and 500,000 where motorists pay the most annually in additional vehicle maintenance because of roads in poor condition are:

TRIP4* An urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.

 

  • A listing of additional vehicle operating costs due to driving on roads in substandard condition for urban areas with populations over 500,000 can be found in Appendix C. Additional vehicle operating costs for urban areas with a population between 250,000 and 500,000 can be found in Appendix D.

With vehicle travel growth returning to pre-recession rates and large truck travel anticipated to grow significantly, resulting in increased traffic and wear and tear on the nation’s urban roads and highways, the additional travel will increase the amount of road, highway and bridge investment which will be needed to improve conditions and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.    

  • Vehicle travel increased by 39 percent from 1990 to 2008. From 2008 to 2013, the amount of vehicle travel on the nation’s roadways remained largely unchanged, increasing by one half percent during the five year period.
  • Vehicle travel in the U.S. increased by 1.7 percent from 2013 to 2014. U.S. vehicle travel during the first four months of 2015 increased 3.9 percent from the same period in 2014.
  • Travel by large commercial trucks in the U.S. increased by 79 percent from 1990 to 2013. Large trucks place significant stress on roads and highways.
  • The level of heavy truck travel nationally is anticipated to increase by approximately 72 percent from 2015 to 2030, putting greater stress on the nation’s roadways.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that the U.S. currently has a $740 billion backlog in improvements needed to restore the nation’s roads, highways and bridges to the level of condition and performance needed to meet the nation’s transportation demands.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that the nation’s road, highway and bridge backlog included $392 billion in needed road and highway repairs to return them to a state of good repair; $112 billion needed in bridge rehabilitation and $237 billion in needed highway capacity expansions to relieve traffic congestion and support economic development.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report also found that the annual needed investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs is $120 billion, assuming that vehicle travel increases at a rate of one percent per year. This level of investment is 36 percent higher than the current annual spending of $88 billion.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that if the rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year that the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would increase to $144 billion and if vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would be $156 billion.

The federal government is a critical source of funding for road and highway repairs. But the lack of adequate funding beyond the expiration of the current federal surface transportation program, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), which expires on July 31, 2015, threatens the future condition of the nation’s roads and highways.      

Projects to improve the condition of the nation’s roads and bridges could boost the nation’s economic growth by providing significant short- and long-term economic benefits. 

  • Highway rehabilitation and preservation projects provide significant economic benefits by improving travel speeds, capacity and safety, and by reducing operating costs for people and businesses.   Roadway repairs also extend the service life of a road, highway or bridge, which saves money by postponing the need for more expensive future repairs.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Transportation agencies can reduce pavement life cycle costs by using higher-quality paving materials that keep roads structurally sound and smooth for longer periods, and by employing a pavement preservation approach that optimizes the timing of repairs to pavement surfaces.

  • There are five life-cycle stages of a roadway pavement: design, construction, initial deterioration, visible deterioration and pavement disintegration and failure.
  • A 2010 Federal Highway Administration report found that an over-reliance on short-term pavement repairs will fail to provide the long-term structural integrity needed in a roadway surface to guarantee the future performance of a paved road or highway.
  • The 2010 Federal Highway Administration report warned that transportation agencies that focus only on current pavement surface conditions will eventually face a highway network with an overwhelming backlog of pavement rehabilitation and replacement needs.
  • A properly implemented pavement preservation approach to keeping pavements in good condition has been found to reduce overall pavement life cycle costs by approximately one-third over a 25-year period.
  • Initial pavement preservation can only be done on road surfaces that are structurally sound. Roads that have significant deterioration must be maintained with surface repairs until sufficient funds are available to reconstruct the road, at which time a pavement preservation strategy can be adopted.
  • The use of thicker pavements and more durable designs and materials for a particular roadway are being used to increase the life span of road and highway surfaces and delay the need for significant repairs. These new pavements include high performance concrete pavements and asphalt pavements which have a perpetual pavement design.

Adequate funding allows transportation agencies to reconstruct roadways that are structurally worn out and adopt the following recommendations for insuring a smooth ride.

  • Implement and adequately fund a pavement preservation program that performs initial maintenance on road surfaces while they are still in good condition, postponing the need for significant rehabilitation.
  • Use pavement materials and designs that will provide a longer-lasting surface when critical routes are constructed or reconstructed.
  • Resurface roads in a timely fashion using pavement materials that are designed to be the most durable, given local climate and the level and mix of traffic on the road.
  • Invest adequately to ensure that 75 percent of local road surfaces are in good condition.

All data used in the report are the latest available. Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), the AAA, the Texas Transportation Institute, the Transportation Research Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Highway Bill Soaps…

No Highway Bill, Another Extension?

By Greg Sitek

Tired of seeing this comment when anything relative to the highway bill comes up for discussion? You should be. Since 2009, Congress has passed 34 short-term bills to fund transportation programs.

On July 18, 2015 the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said, during the Thursday hearing, that his preference is for lawmakers to pass a long-term extension to avoid repeats of the upcoming “highway cliff.”  He thinks a six-year transportation funding bill sought by infrastructure advocates is “a great goal” and said he is “committed to working to get us as close to that goal as possible.”

The current transportation funding legislation includes about $50 billion in annual spending on road and transit projects. With the current gas tax at (which has not been increased since 1993) 18.4-cent-per-gallon, Federal Gas Tax revenue is only about $34 billion per year. Other pockets of the federal budget have been tapped to fill the gap in recent years. Transportation advocates have pointed out that the resulting temporary patches prevent states from completing long-term construction projects. These short-term extensions negatively impact all transportation related improvements, repairs and maintenance on all levels — regional state, municipal and local.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated it will take somewhere around a $100 billion to close the gap long enough to pay for a six-year transportation funding bill.

Hatch added, “Right now, when it comes to highways, we find ourselves caught in a familiar dilemma, between raising taxes or cutting back on the highway program.”

Why the delays, why the problems with passing a six-year bill? Hatch stated “First of all, neither party should point fingers and try to lay blame when it comes to the now-common practice of passing short-term highway extensions. ” He added, “Between the 110th and 113th Congresses, when the Democrats controlled the Senate, we enacted 11 short-term highway extensions.”

Highway and transportation advocates, industry associations and the industry all believe that without a long-term bill, be that six years or more, our national highway system is at risk. According to CBO, a six-year highway bill that maintains the current spending baseline will cost at least $92 billion.

The needed improvements, repairs, updates, maintenance can’t happen without funding. Funding can’t happen without some form of revenue collection — fuel tax, vehicle mileage tax, etc. – and right now fuel tax is the most realistic way to cover these costs. The extension that sits waiting for the Senate rewrite will take us to the end of the year. Will the House accept the Senate rewrite? Your guess is a good as anyone’s. Meanwhile we continue to drive on rapidly deteriorating roads, causing endless dollars of damage to our vehicles and reducing the safety factor in driving.

You really have to sit back and ask yourself, if congress couldn’t come up with a long-term bill over the course of 6 years and 34 failed attempts can they get the job done in 5 months with an election year coming? Or, will we be looking at extension 35?

Now Comes the Senate

The following comments by:

Michael O’Brien

Public Affairs Manager, Association of Equipment Manufacturers

 Welcome back to your favorite intermittent email series, “Where are we on a highway bill?” Below is a brief recap of today’s action, and some perspectives on where we go next.

We have a bill. We don’t have a bill.

Senators McConnell, Inhofe and Boxer announced a deal on a bipartisan, six-year highway bill late Tuesday morning after a weekend full of negotiating over ways to pay for it. But the legislation hit a procedural snag after Democrats blocked proceeding to the agreement because the text of the bill hadn’t been released until a few minutes before the scheduled cloture vote.

The vote was 41-56, after which Sen. McConnell (who voted no for procedural reasons) immediately entered a motion to reconsider, setting up another attempt at a Motion to Proceed (MTP) as soon as tomorrow. McConnell further suggested the Senate may work into the weekend to complete its work on highways.

But we do have pay-fors.

The agreement includes about $45 billion in funding offsets, good enough to finance about three years (or half) of the six-year bill. Some of the biggest offsets include:

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]$16.3 billion from cutting the dividend rate paid by the Federal Reserve to large banks

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]$9.0 billion from selling off a portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]$4.0 billion from indexing customs user fees to inflation (Funny how indexing certain user fees is now so popular in Congress…)

You can find a full summary of the offsets, courtesy of our friend from the Senate Finance Committee, here.

Where do we go now?

 Senator Reid said that Democrats will meet on Wednesday morning to discuss the specifics of the highway bill. Senator Boxer urged fellow Democrats to vote yes on cloture tomorrow: “I hope that tomorrow we’ll be able to join with our friends and vote to proceed.”

And though House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that the Senate should take up the House bill, Senator McConnell – who hardly ever offers offhanded comments – said he expected the House would take up a long-term bill if it is passed out of the Senate: “If we can get this bill over to the House, it is my belief they will take it up.”

What’s business doing?

AEM joined 67 other groups in signing a letter in support of today’s agreement. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among other groups, also urged senators to support cloture.

AEM and its coalition partners are going to continue to enlist our respective memberships to call and email Congress to urge work toward advancing a multi-year transportation bill. In the last 24 hours alone, AEM’s grassroots supporters have sent 1,400 emails to Congress in support of a long-term highway bill.

We’ll continue to impress the importance of providing our nation’s highway programs with critical certainty in the coming hours and days.

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