Letter Supporting Transportation Funding in FY06 Transportation, Treasury, HUD Appropriations Bill
June 28, 2005
TO THE FULL U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: As the House prepares to take up the FY06 Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, Judiciary, and District of Columbia Appropriations bill, I am writing to strongly support fully funding the nation's surface transportation and aviation programs to ensure the nation's transportation infrastructure network remains the safest, most efficient, and most competitive in the world.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region, applauds the committee-approved bill for the continued linkage between the annual appropriations process and the multi-year reauthorization of TEA-21. The bill calls for maintaining the guaranteed spending firewall by providing an investment level of $36.3 billion for highways and $8.5 billion for public transportation.
We also applaud the committee-approved bill that fully funds the Vision-100 authorization bill. Vision-100 has provided a record level of investment in aviation programs by ensuring that revenues flowing into the Aviation Trust Fund are fully used for their intended purpose of fixing and maintaining our nation's aviation infrastructure.
We support the adequate funding provided for the transition costs for the flight service station competitive sourcing competition. This is important for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of our air transportation industry. Utilizing the competitive sourcing process is good for the government, the private sector, and most importantly, taxpayers. Competitive private enterprise systems are the most productive, efficient, and effective sources of goods and services.
The U.S. Chamber appreciates your support on this and urges you to demonstrate your further support for taxpayers by opposing any anti-competitive sourcing amendments offered during floor debate — specifically restricting the use of the May 2003 revised Circular A-76 — which would turn back much of the committee's good work. Adoption of such an amendment would represent a reversal of current policy that would disadvantage agencies and taxpayers by reverting back to a process that simply did not work and lacked credibility.
The U.S. Chamber asks for your continued efforts to ensure that our transportation infrastructure receives the investment it needs throughout our nation. We urge your continued support for increasing transportation investment in order to provide much-needed transportation infrastructure improvements that save lives, relieve congestion, and improve the nation's quality of life. America's consumers, workers, and businesses are counting on you.
R. Bruce Josten