Statement from Dennis Slater, President of Association of Equipment Manufacturers
America’s equipment manufacturing industry applauds the President for recognizing the vital importance of infrastructure investment to the long-term strength and competitiveness of our country. What America needs – and what voters want – is the Administration and Congress to work in partnership right now to finally pass a transportation reauthorization bill that will address longstanding safety and quality issues, and put Americans back to work.
Investing in the rebuilding and modernization of our nation’s roads, railways, runways and transit systems is a strategy that Democrats and Republicans alike should be clamoring to support. Instead, Congress has let a six-year bill expire while America falls behind other nations that are building infrastructure for future competition in the global marketplace. In the short term, this has and will continue to cost American jobs. In the long-term, it will cost us our competitive advantage – and even more jobs.
While the President’s plan for an Infrastructure Bank and increased capacity in our infrastructure system is an important step, Congress has the opportunity to act now on transportation reauthorization that will result in immediate job creation. We need a strategic vision for modernizing our country’s infrastructure, and leaders with the courage to make it happen. We need Congress to pass a transportation bill, and they need to come together on a robust, multi-faceted and sustainable way to pay for it, including consideration of a user fee increase. Maybe this is not the most popular policy stance in an election year, but there is no such thing as a safe road built by American workers for free.
Site-K Construction Zone has been posting information and comments about the country’s need for a new transportation bill. One, that had been based on a couple of years of intense research and addressed the immediate and long term transportation needs of the country by congressman James L. Oberstar and his committee, has been put on hold a couple times since the last bill, SAFETEA-LU, expired on September 30, 2009. A year and billions of dollars have been wasted and more debt created while we as a nation sit and wait… A comprehensive transportation bill would be a step in the right direction. Congress doesn’t have to wait until December to pass one. Now would be a good time…