Diverse Group Urges Leaders to Solve Highway Trust Fund Crisis
Jason Poppen, Transportation Business Line President at HR Green, Inc. is among the nearly 1,500 representatives from the small business, manufacturing and transportation communities meeting this week with policymakers on Capitol Hill to discuss transportation and infrastructure funding for jobs, economic growth and increased competitiveness.
Members of three diverse organizations are each sending the same message to congressional leaders: Address the Highway Trust Fund crisis. The federal law that sets national policy and investment levels for highways, transit and other forms of surface transportation is set to expire Oct. 1. Even before then, however, the highway trust fund that channels this federal aid to states and local governments is expected to run out of money by September.
The National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) 2014 Manufacturing Summit, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s America’s Small Business Summit and the Transportation Construction Coalition’s (TCC) annual fly-in are each emphasizing the need for Congress to address the looming crisis that threatens ongoing highway and public transportation investments and pass a surface transportation authorization.
Deteriorating roads, bridges and transit facilities impact all Americans and threaten the competitiveness of the U.S. economy as well as our quality of life. These events also show strong support for Congress to move a well-funded multiyear surface transportation authorization before MAP-21 expires on September 30.
Poppen met with Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis who has been leading the fight for a bi-partisan bill to help solve the problem and keep local control of tax dollars for vital transportation projects.
The Innovation in Surface Transportation Act (HR 4726), introduced by Davis and Nevada Democrat Dina Titus, would make good on the MAP-21 authors’ promise of more local control by reserving a share of each state’s federal dollars for grants to local entities. It would ensure that at least an additional $5 billion of the roughly $50 billion sent to states each year will be used to support local priorities.