Letter to Senate Leadership to Schedule Senate Floor Consideration of TEA-21 Reauthorization
April 13, 2005
The Honorable Bill Frist The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader Democratic Leader
U.S. Senate U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senators Frist and Reid:
With the 109th Congress well underway, we urge you to schedule Senate floor consideration of legislation to reauthorize the federal highway and transit programs for this month. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) expired September 30, 2003, and the programs continue to operate under a series of extensions. The Senate has repeatedly expressed its will about the importance of addressing the nation's transportation challenges and there is no substantive reason to delay consideration of this bill.
TEA-21 reauthorization may be one of the few measures the Senate will consider this year that will pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. This broad support, combined with the May 31 expiration of the latest short-term extension of the highway and transit programs, presents a compelling case for Senate action so that conference negotiations may begin with the House of Representatives, which approved its multi-year reauthorization bill March 10.
The nation's surface transportation infrastructure needs and safety concerns continue to grow, yet lack of a long-term funding commitment by the federal government is impeding states' ability to plan and let transportation improvement projects that will help create American jobs, ease pollution creating traffic congestion and address highway safety. With substantial groundwork completed on TEA-21 reauthorization over the last two years, the authorizing committees with jurisdiction over the legislation are well prepared for Senate consideration of a reauthorization bill.
We urge you to schedule TEA-21 reauthorization legislation for Senate floor action as soon as possible and allow the Senate to again work its will on this critical matter.
American Road & Transportation Builders Association
Associated General Contractors of America
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials
Associated Equipment Distributors
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
International Union of Operating Engineers
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
American Public Transportation Association
American Concrete Pipe Association
American Concrete Pavement Association
National Utility Contractors Association
Portland Cement Association
National Asphalt Pavement Association
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
American Society of Civil Engineers
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust