With the debt limit crisis averted, Congress and the Administration should focus on reauthorizing two key legislative priorities: Federal-aid transportation reauthorization and the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization.
"The American Concrete Pavement Association recognizes the efforts of our nation's political leaders in addressing the nation's debt level, but we still remain very concerned with the lack of forward momentum in infrastructure investment," says Gerald F. Voigt, P.E., ACPA President and CEO. "These two bills are essential to enabling state highway and aviation authorities to rehabilitate our nation's highways, airports, and other surface transportation systems.
The timing of this message is particularly critical, Voigt says, because August through early September is traditionally the time when lawmakers adjourn for a month-long recess, during which time most Senators and Representatives will return to their home states and districts.
"The August recess allows voters to reach out to their elected officials to urge them to find solutions to the dire situation the construction industry and our highways and aviation infrastructure are facing," he says. "In addition to the importance of rehabilitating and preserving the nation's surface transportation system, passage of the highway and aviation bills would stimulate economic growth and job creation at a time when both have fallen again.
"Roadbuilding agencies, airport owners, and the industry have suffered from inaction long enough," Voigt says, adding, "Congressional leaders must get serious about how to fund these infrastructure bills. We are asking the House and Senate Leadership to make infrastructure a priority on the legislative calendar, while at the same time, urging all elected officials to support reauthorization programs that will prevent our surface transportation system from falling into further disrepair.
"We continue to encourage everyone in the transportation-construction industry to talk to neighbors, colleagues, employees, and peers," Voigt says, adding, "Urge them to take a stand and to tell their elected officials to make the transportation bill a priority, as well as find viable, sustainable solutions to find and invest the funds to repair and preserve the nation's highways and airports."
ACPA offers many resources that present information about these key issues, and along with that information, also provides talking points people can use in meetings, phone and e-mail communications with elected officials.
The resources, along with contact information for elected officials may be found in ACPA's ACPA Legislative Issues Resource Center at http://www.acpa.org/Legislative/LITF1.asp.
The American Concrete Pavement Association is the national trade association for the concrete pavement industry. The primary mission of the ACPA is to create and maintain a strong national presence through dynamic, strategic leadership; effective technical expertise and resources; and persuasive advocacy on behalf of the concrete pavement industry. See the association's technical website at www.acpa.org, and its public website at www.pavements4life.com.