Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports H.R. 2887, the “Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011,” which would extend expiring surface transportation and aviation programs and related spending authority.
The Chamber applauds the House and Senate leadership for recognizing the importance of extending surface transportation and aviation programs at current funding levels in order to sustain jobs. By putting forth clean extensions that continue obligations at FY2011 levels, states and other project sponsors can move forward on projects and keep people working.
H.R. 2887 is not a substitute for the much-needed reauthorization of both programs. However, the six-month extension provided by the bill should be enough time for Congress to approve traditional long term reauthorization of both programs. A multiyear highway and transit reauthorization that reforms highway and transit policy and programs and provides the necessary resources to maintain investment in highways, public transportation, and safety would give states the long term funding certainty to sustain hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs.
Four years overdue, the lack of a long-term FAA reauthorization is hampering airport construction and progress on Next Generation Air Traffic Control investments. We encourage the Senate and House to pass the four month extension and then quickly resolve the remaining issues between the different versions of the reauthorization legislation and pass a multi-year aviation authorization so that critical investments can proceed.
The Chamber strongly supports H.R. 2887, and may consider including votes on, or in relation to, H.R. 2887 in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten