WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten issued the following statement today regarding the administration’s proposed surface transportation reauthorization bill:
“Having a concrete MAP-21 proposal from the administration is a positive step forward in the reauthorization process. Putting forward a plan generates important debate and discussion and highlights the reality that as a country, we must look not only at our immediate need to ensure the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund but also at how we meet the economic needs of the country on a multi-modal basis in the long run.
“Combined with state, local, and private-sector resources, the next federal highway, transit, and highway safety program authorization bill could—with additional resources enabling spending beyond baseline levels—start to address the nation’s backlog of transportation needs and move projects forward that will support the U.S. economy, national defense, and personal mobility. The obvious remaining challenge is finding the resources for a fiscally responsible reauthorization package. The Chamber continues to believe that raising federal gasoline and diesel taxes is the simplest, most straightforward way to address the revenue problem in the near term.
“MAP-21 reauthorization should deliver long-term, fully funded federal programs combined with reforms that build on its accountability and transparency measures; strong federal-state-local partnerships; provisions to enable ongoing innovation by the public and private entities responsible for designing, building, operating, maintaining, and financing transportation infrastructure; multi-year capital planning based on needs and not politics; and efficient project delivery from conception to completion.
“The Chamber looks forward to reviewing the details of the draft bill and working with the administration and Congress to deal with both the current Highway Trust Fund cash flow problem and future revenue shortages.”
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