Congressman Aaron Schock met with leaders in the Illinois transportation industry in Rosemont, IL earlier this week to solicit ideas for getting a transportation bill moving through Congress. The Congressman noted that Speaker John Boehner has committed to bringing a bill to a vote before the end of February. It has been over two years since the last transportation bill expired.
"The message is job creation and investing in our future," said IRTBA Chairman Jennifer Krug at the beginning of the meeting. Krug was joined by IRTBA President & CEO, Mike Sturino, and a diverse group of business leaders from local design and construction firms. The meeting was hosted by Christopher B. Burke Engineering. Business leaders highlighted the important benefits transportation brings to the national and regional economy.
"Providing for infrastructure is one of the most important functions of the federal government - in fact it's enshrined in the U.S. Constitution," said Congressman Schock. "In Washington I have been urging my fellow congressmen to support a long term, fully funded transportation bill in the near future. Our country is depending on us to ensure a stronger, more resilient economy for years to come."
The House bill would likely be for five years, funded by a combination of the current motor fuel tax and additional revenues derived by opening up domestic energy production.
"For every billion dollars invested in transportation, 34,000 jobs are created, according to the Federal Highway Administration," Krug said. "That doesn't include all of the other economic and quality of life benefits that a sound, multi-modal transportation system delivers to the American taxpayer. That's a return on investment not seen in any other federal program.
"Transportation investment is a success story that never ends," she said. "Many of the other things we strive for in the industry, however, also benefit the families across Chicago and the nation: congestion relief, safety, efficiency, and sustainability."