The Association of Equipment Manufacturers and Associated Equipment Distributors have issued the following statement calling for timely reauthorization of federal transportation funding, following House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar's proposed extension of current legislation through year's end.
"While we are disappointed that Congress appears unlikely to pass a multi-year transportation reauthorization bill before the current law expires on September 30, we support the efforts of Chairman Oberstar and his colleagues to minimize the delay. The country cannot afford to wait 18 months for long-term investment that will provide comprehensive solutions to our transportation challenges and create jobs.
"The recession may be abating for others. But the men and women who work in the construction equipment industry are being left behind due to a lack of federal support for needed transportation improvements that benefit the public. Demand for construction equipment has cratered over the past two years, causing significant layoffs and hardship in the manufacturing and distribution network.
"A safer, less congested transportation network is critical for America's future economic prosperity. Just as importantly, investing in these needed improvements will also spur a recovery in the struggling construction and manufacturing sectors while creating potentially millions of good-paying jobs.
"We strongly urge President Obama and Congress to enact new transportation legislation before the spring construction season begins in early 2010."