There are less than two weeks before a hotly contested election where both parties are jockeying for leverage in the U.S. House of Representatives and control of the Senate. That means the iron is still hot and it’s time to strike to make sure the individuals vying to represent you know the importance of increasing federal highway and public transportation investment. These congressional campaigns are in the home stretch, and the only place you will find those seeking to serve in the next Congress is in your state and community. It is imperative that current members of Congress and those seeking election for the first time hear loudly and often about the need to permanently stabilize and grow Highway Trust Fund revenues so that a multi-year highway/transit bill can be developed.
While some think the Highway Trust Fund is on auto pilot through next May, the fact is, states develop their transportation plans early in the year, and the continued question mark hanging over future federal investment will likely be a damper on the 2015 construction seasons without some sign of action well before May. The best way to end seven years of Highway Trust Fund uncertainty is to make sure all candidates hear from you how damaging these recurring crises are to your business and the transportation needs of your state.
- Over the past 10 years, on average, the federal highway program has provided 52 cents of every $1 dollar invested by state DOTs in highway and bridge capital improvements.
- The source of that money, the federal HTF, is operating on a revenue stream that has not been adjusted in more than two decades.
- As a result, the trust fund has suffered five revenue shortfalls in the last seven years.
- The next HTF cash crisis will occur in May 2015, just at the beginning of the busy construction season.
- The continued uncertainty about federal surface transportation funds is hindering the ability of the states to plan and the private sector to deliver needed infrastructure improvements.
Points to Get Across to Candidates for the U.S. House and Senate:
Start off by telling them your name, your company name, where it is located, the number of people employed, and what projects your company is working on in their area. Then tell them:
- You appreciate the House and Senate taking action at the end of July to keeping highway and transit funds flowing to the states.
- But that does not mean the job is done.
- Congress needs to enact a long-term, sustainable revenue solution for the Highway Trust Fund before the end of 2014.
- Otherwise, the Highway Trust Fund will again face a solvency crisis in early 2015.
- In sum, it’s time for Congress to enact a permanent fix for the Highway Trust Fund!
Please contact ARTBA’s Dean Franks at 202.289.4434 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or requests for assistance in reaching candidates for federal office in your state.