Letter to Senate in Support of Grassley/Baucus Amendment
May 9, 2005
TO MEMBERS OF THE U.S. SENATE: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million companies and organizations of every size, sector and region, urges your support for an amendment by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Max Baucus (D-MT) to increase highway and public transportation investment during debate on H.R. 3, the reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). The Chamber also urges timely completion of this vital legislation.
The Chamber believes prompt passage of this legislation with a significant increase in investment for highways and public transportation is critical for addressing the nation's transportation demands. The sixth short-term extension of TEA-21 expires May 31. Prompt action by the Senate is needed to ensure a fully-funded, multi-year bill is completed before the opportunity for investing in our nation is missed by yet another construction and planning season being lost.
A top priority of the Chamber is to ensure that all highway user generated fees are invested promptly in surface transportation maintenance and improvement. The Grassley/Baucus amendment would provide such an investment in a deficit-neutral manner. Passage of the amendment would allow more of the nation's transportation infrastructure needs to be addressed, and thus, ensure our economic competitiveness, safety, and quality of life.
The Chamber is committed to working with Congress and the Administration to make certain a reauthorization measure is completed quickly and provides adequate funding to meet our nation's growing transportation needs. The Chamber will consider using votes on or in relation to this issue for inclusion in our annual "How They Voted" ratings.
Thomas J. Donohue