Letter Supporting the Conference Report for H.R. 3074, the "Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008"
November 15, 2007
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of ever size, sector, and region, strongly urges you to support the conference report for H.R. 3074, the "Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008." This bill provides the necessary funding to ensure that the U.S. transportation system is the safest and most efficient in the world.
The business community depends on a safe and reliable transportation system to remain competitive and efficient. The nation's transportation system is the foundation of the nation's economy. If the investments necessary to maintain this foundation are not made, the U.S. economy will suffer. The inadequate surface transportation system costs the economy $78 billion annually in lost time and fuel.
H.R. 3074 addresses the enormous demands of the nation's transportation infrastructure system by providing funding for the highway and transit programs authorized by Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which President Bush signed into law two years ago as well as funding for the Federal Aviation Administration to improve the safety, performance and capacity of the nation's aviation system.
While the Chamber strongly supports passage of H.R. 3074, it is important to note that the Chamber is disappointed that H.R. 3074 under-funds public transportation by $81 million. These investments are vital to the safety of our system and the health of the nation's economy. It is imperative that commitments made under SAFETEA-LU be maintained as is required by law.
For these reasons, the Chamber urges you to support the conference report for H.R. 3074 and may consider using votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten