Tag Archive for 'Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC)'

Citizens Make A Difference In Washington DC

National Steel Bridge Alliance, the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) and Others Urge Support the proposed America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA)

On Monday, July 29, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) introduced a five-year, $287 billion highway bill representing a 27% increase over the current authorized funding from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST, Act. Additional items include more than $6 billion for a new competitive bridge investment grant program and increased transparency requirements for public-private partnership (P3) projects.

The National Steel Bridge Alliance, a division of the American Institute of Steel Construction, and the rest of the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) urge all members of the EPW committee to support during today’s full-committee mark-up.

“A long-term, robust highway bill will put more Americans to work and energize commerce and quality of life across the cities, towns, and rural areas of our nation,” said Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD, president of the American Institute of Steel Construction.

Among other things, the ATIA authorizes:

  • $287 billion over five years in contract authority – an increase of roughly $12 billion annually when compared to the previous highway bill, the FAST Act. Some 17% of that funding increase would take effect the first year, which would help states address maintenance backlogs to improve safety and congestion.
  • More than $6 billion over five years for a new competitive bridge investment grant program, with 50% dedicated to bridge projects of $100 million or more. This is crucial for large bridge projects that traditionally struggle to secure adequate funding.
  • A required 15-day notice prior to a Buy American waiver being granted for federal-aid projects
  • Increased funding for the Technology and Innovation Deployment Program (TDAP). These funds include $100 million in new and innovative construction technologies for smarter, accelerated project delivery.
  • Increased transparency requirements for public-private partnership (P3) projects

The 31 national associations and trade unions of the TTC sent a letter Monday to Sens. John Barrasso, Shelley Moore Capito, Tom Carper, Ben Cardin, and the rest of the EPW committee commending the committee’s effort to introduce ATIA as a bipartisan measure that will benefit all 50 states.

A summary of the bill is available here, and the full bill text is available here.

American Institute of Steel Construction

www.aisc.org

Ad Campaign Targets Key Lawmakers and Highlights Urgent Need for Investment to Modernize Infrastructure

The transportation construction industry and business community are launching an ad campaign on two fronts this summer to keep the pressure on Congress and the Trump administration for action in 2019 on a permanent Highway Trust Fund (HTF) fix and a new transportation infrastructure package.

A key campaign component is a social media focused effort aimed at generating grassroots support. It uses “Conversation Cards” targeted at the Twitter followers of dozens of key members of the House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees, which have the responsibility for developing the funding mechanisms for surface transportation legislation or an infrastructure package. Twitter followers of these lawmakers can send this message: “Our national transportation infrastructure is severely underfunded, which is crippling our economy and endangering lives. The time for Congress to fix this is now—ask @ [member of Congress] to start work today to get our nation moving in the right direction again.”

The effort is complemented by digital and Twitter ads aimed at members of Congress, their staffs and other D.C. policymakers that spotlight the impacts of traffic congestion on the U.S. economy and highlight how the nation is investing in infrastructure at half the rate of the Space Age nearly 50 years ago. The ads drive the target audiences to an opinion editorial in Politico. The piece notes the key priorities: “Job #1 is providing a permanent, dedicated, growing, user-fee based HTF [Highway Trust Fund] revenue stream to support the increased transportation investments advocated by President Trump and members of Congress from both parties. Job #2 is ensuring expanded HTF [Highway Trust Fund] resources in a transportation infrastructure package are dedicated to projects that will facilitate long-term regional and national economic growth while creating new jobs.”

The campaign is a joint initiative of the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-led Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) coalition. The TCC and ATM ads will run throughout the remainder of June and during July.

Established in 1996 and co-chaired by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the 31 associations and labor unions that make up the TCC have a direct market interest in the federal transportation program. A complete list of members can be found at www.transportationconstructioncoalition.org.

The Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) coalition was established by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2000. It brings together businesses, the labor and union sectors, transportation stakeholders, and the public to advocate a robust transportation infrastructure grid in the United States. This includes promoting ongoing and sustainable funding through policies and broad-based initiatives.

For more information visit www.artba.org

Transportation Proposal Pushed by Conservative Activists Would Force States to Raise Gas Taxes An Average of 23.5 Cents-Per-Gallon

ee0d071a-4431-491a-ae5f-0d9154114faeAlaska Would Need Largest Gas Tax Hike of $1 Per Gallon, Followed By Montana at 44.5 Cents-Per-Gallon To Keep Current Funding Levels Under Plan to Gut Federal Funding For State Highway Capital Investments

Transportation legislation being pushed in Congress by Heritage Action, the Club for Growth and like-minded conservative activist groups would force states to raise their gasoline and diesel motor fuel taxes, on average, about 23.5 cents-per-gallon by 2020 if they wanted to maintain their current annual investment in highway and bridge improvements and public transportation, an analysis of federal and state data shows.  The states’ only other options, if the proposal was enacted, would be to raise other taxes, redirect an equivalent amount of revenue from other state programs, or slash their road, bridge and transit improvement program.

The analysis, released by the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC), illustrates the reliance state governments have on the federal highway program for funding their road and bridge capital investments—52 percent, on average, from 2010 through 2012.

The legislation, the “Transportation Empowerment Act,” (TEA), which was sponsored in the last Congress by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), would force states to significantly boost their gas tax rates or enact other fundraising increases to avoid further deterioration of their transportation infrastructure.  Indeed, seven states would face the prospect of having to raise their gas tax by 30 cents or more—or find the revenue equivalent of such an increase—just to maintain their current highway and bridge investment:  Alaska ($1.00), Montana (44.5 cents), Vermont (44.2 cents), Rhode Island (41.4 cents), South Dakota (35.9 cents), West Virginia (32.5 cents), Wyoming (30.5 cents).  Review a state-by-state chart.

“The Transportation Empowerment Act and the rationale these groups offer for it show a gross misunderstanding of how the federal-state partnership to provide a core function of government—providing citizens and U.S. businesses safe and efficient mobility through transportation infrastructure—works,” Pete Ruane, TCC co-chair and president and CEO of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, said. “It would be, at best, irresponsible for a Member of Congress to put their name on this legislation unless they first commit to leading the charge in their state to raise their gas tax, or other state taxes, or cut other specific state programs to fill the funding gap this legislation would create.”

“All this legislation would do is force drivers to pay more at the pump without delivering any improvements to the quality of safety of the roads and bridges they use,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America and the Co-Chair of the TCC.  “In particular, gutting the federal transportation program will force residents of large, less populous states to pay a lot more to maintain highways that benefit shippers and travelers from all over the country.”

The Heritage Action proposal would, over five years, lower the federal gas tax from 18.4 cents-per-gallon to 3.7 cents, and the federal diesel motor fuel tax from 24.3 cents-per-gallon to 5 cents.  The groups contend the lower fuels tax rates—which would generate about $6 billion per year—would be enough to rebuild and maintain the 60 year-old, 48,000-mile Interstate Highway System.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2013 biennial report to the Congress on the nation’s highway and bridge capital needs, however, says just maintaining current Interstate System physical conditions and performance requires almost $19 billion per year.  The annual capital investment necessary to optimize the System’s condition, performance and safety, the report says, is $35 billion.

The federal investment in state highway and bridge programs during FY 2015—which in addition to providing support for interstate highways also assists state investments in more than 120,000 miles of other major roads that connect the Interstate to the nation’s major military facilities, airports, ports, rail, truck and pipeline terminals and other strategic transport facilities—is just over $40 billion.

The analysis, prepared for the TCC by Dr. William Buechner, a former senior economist for the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and Dr. Alison Black, ARTBA’s chief economist, is based on state motor fuel tax rate data for 2014 from the Federation of Tax Administrators and Federal Highway Administration data on federal apportionments for highway program investments to the state transportation departments.

The Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) includes 31 national associations and labor unions whose members have a direct market interest in federal transportation programs.  The TCC focuses on the federal budget and surface transportation program policy issues.

A chart showing how the Transportation Empowerment Act would impact individual states can be accessed at www.transportationconstructioncoalition.org

AEM Urges Conferees to Reach Agreement on Fully Funded Transportation Bill Without Further Delay

Dennis Slater, AEM President

After attending the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) fly-in this week in Washington, DC and meeting with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to urge swift action on the transportation bill, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement:

“This week in Washington, I had the unique opportunity to join my fellow TCC members and hear from Members of Congress and Highway & Transit Conference Committee Members about the current state of the highway bill deliberations. After 1,000 days, nine extensions and a rapidly approaching June 30th deadline, I’m pleased to hear that a bipartisan group of members are working in Congress to finally get a long-term highway bill passed.

“Millions of jobs are dependent on Congress doing the right thing and working together to pass a strong bill to improve our nation’s infrastructure. Manufacturers and businesses depend on a strong infrastructure system to continue to operate and grow. During these difficult times, nothing could be more important than supporting these industries to create jobs and grow the economy.

“As I return from Washington, I remain optimistic that Congress will be able to reconcile their differences and pass a fully funded transportation bill that significantly invests in our nation’s infrastructure. American workers are counting on Congress to do the right thing, and I strongly urge them to get this bill done without further delay.”

The Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) is a partnership of 29 national associations and construction unions representing hundreds of thousands of individuals with a direct market interest in federal transportation programs. TCC was initiated in July 1996 to focus on the federal budget and surface transportation programs reauthorization debates. TCC activists can be found in virtually every congressional district and provide a vital service to their communities by helping to improve the efficiency and safety of our nation’s highway infrastructure.

For more information visit:  Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) – www.aem.org