Release Date: Apr 30, 2003Contact: 888-249-NEWS
Chamber Urges Lawmakers to Prioritize Transportation Investment Measures
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce today urged lawmakers to expedite the reauthorization of several investment measures critical to the future of the nation's surface and air transportation systems and the U.S. economy.
"Investment in transportation is not a special interest issue – it's a national interest issue," said Thomas J. Donohue, Chamber president and CEO, at a rally on Capitol Hill. "Full transportation funding supports economic growth, increased competitiveness, a cleaner environment and a better quality of life."
The rally, sponsored by the Chamber's Americans for Transportation Mobility coalition, brought together hundreds of labor officials, business association leaders and transportation industry executives to call on Congress to prioritize such spending measures and pledge their commitment to building a transportation system worthy of the 21st century global economy.
The timely reauthorization of funding measures such as TEA-21, AIR-21 and the Water Resources Development Act is in the best interest of all Americans, according to the Chamber. Nearly $7 trillion in goods and materials are transported in this country each year. Moving those goods and people quickly and safely is critical to our economic growth and competitiveness.
Building the infrastructure we need to boost our economy will create jobs here at home as well – more than 2.5 million jobs were generated in the design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure projects in 2001 alone. In addition, improving the nation's transportation system and reducing traffic bottlenecks will dramatically improve air quality.
"A growing economy relies on an efficient transportation network," said Donohue. "Without improvements, that network will be unable to sustain increased growth and activity in the future."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region.