Governors Can’t Afford Another 100 Days of GOP Obstruction on Transportation

One hundred days ago, the Senate passed a bipartisan transportation bill that creates or saves more than 2 million jobs – but House Republicans still refuse to bring it to the floor.  House Republicans must be willing to compromise in negotiations on this critical measure to put Americans in the construction industry back to work.  The drumbeat calling for action hasn’t stopped.

Yesterday, 13 governors wrote urging action on a long-term, job-creating transportation solution.  From their letter:

…we urge members to negotiate an adequately-funded, bi-partisan, multi-modal, transportation bill to create and sustain jobs and support economic recovery. It is critical that final passage of this important jobs bill occurs before the current extension expires on June 30th. Rather than short-term extensions, a longer-term bill will help address the substantial transportation needs in America and provide greater stability as Governors seek to rebuild their regional economies and improve the quality of life for their residents, their workforce, and travelers across the nation…

Historically, surface transportation has been a bi-partisan process with significant input from the states and U.S. territories…Since the last federal authorization expired in 2009, however, states have watched critical programs become hamstrung in partisan arguments that have prevented a meaningful resolution for Highway Trust Fund solvency challenges.

And states aren’t the only ones anxiously watching the clock:

Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Donohue:

Congress has a chance to add to that list of accomplishments by finally passing long-term legislation to maintain our nation’s roads, bridges, and transit systems.

If lawmakers do it, they’ll bring badly needed reforms to our outdated highway and transit programs, restore certainty for our nation’s job creators, and create employment for workers. They can help strengthen our economy, enhance U.S. productivity and competitiveness, reduce congestion, improve the environment, and save lives.

Bipartisan Mayors Across Country:

Expeditious action by the conferees will have a profoundly beneficial impact at a time when construction of these projects can be completed at the lowest possible cost creating much needed sustainable employment…

Each day that passes by without reauthorization only deepens the depth of uncertainty in infrastructure financing, forcing state and local governments across the country to postpone the construction of needed projects with adverse jobs consequences.

Transportation, Labor, and Construction Groups:

It is critical that this legislation be enacted by June 30, the date on which the programs will expire without further Congressional action. A six-month extension is not the way to go. This approach could further exacerbate the Highway Trust Fund’s financial crisis and cause states to cut back on transportation investments during what should be the peak construction season.  Instead, we urge Congress to act in the best interests of the American people by expeditiously completing the House-Senate conference on the surface transportation bill.

There’s an easy way for House Republicans stop the uncertainty and put the concerns of state and local officials, job creation, and the safety of the American people first: compromise in negotiations on this critical measure to put Americans in the construction industry back to work.  With 8 days left until federal transportation funding expires, we simply can’t afford another 100 days of GOP obstruction.

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