WASHINGTON, DC (November 3, 2011) — The multi-year federal highway and transit reauthorization bill has been delayed for more than two years, primarily because of disagreements over how to generate new revenue to improve the precarious fiscal condition of the Highway Trust Fund. Today, in votes relating to the American Jobs Act, the U.S. Senate rejected two proposals -- largely along party lines -- that offered different ways to finance surface transportation infrastructure improvements.
Following the votes, American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President Pete Ruane issued this statement:
“While some may only see political theater in today’s Senate action, there is also undeniable common ground. Both Republicans and Democrats agree there is an urgency to improve the nation’s aging transportation network and that it should include a mechanism to ensure new investments are fully paid for.
“We strongly encourage all Senators to channel the energy from today’s activities into finding a revenue solution that will enable quick passage of the two-year, surface transportation reauthorization proposal from Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer and Ranking Republican Jim Inhofe. This proposal, unlike the transportation bills considered today, is viable legislation capable of passing the Senate on a bipartisan basis. More importantly, it offers a chance to help support American jobs and reduce some of the uncertainty plaguing the transportation construction market.
“Senate approval of a multi-year reauthorization bill would also help bring the process one step closer to a conference with the House and end the cycle of temporary extensions.”