We're at a critical point in the highway debate on Capitol Hill. AED has declared Monday, March 5, Equipment Industry Action Day to keep the reauthorization process moving forward and flood congressional offices with e-mails and calls from around the country.
An all-important procedural vote in the Senate on Tuesday (March 6) will determine whether and when we'll have a final vote on the Senate's reauthorization package. In the House, GOP leaders are still working to develop a highway and transit bill that can win the 218 votes needed to pass. All the while, the clock is running down on the most recent short-term program extension, which expires on March 31.
What's at stake in the highway debate?
- $40 billion per year in investment critical to the nation's economic future
- Nearly 1.5 million jobs
- $2.4 billion in annual equipment sales, rental, and product support
That's why enacting a new, multiyear bill to restore certainty to federal infrastructure programs is AED's top priority. AED is pulling out all the stops in an effort to keep the highway process moving forward. Its lobbying team is working closely with allied groups representing the full spectrum of the construction industry, labor, and the broader business community.
But the organization feels we need to do even more. That's why everyone's participation is needed on AED's Equipment Industry Action Day today.
"The goal is simple: Flood House and Senate offices with e-mails and calls from every corner of the country and every tier of the equipment industry," says AED. "Only you can help us break the partisan morass and build the critical political momentum to finish the job."
AED suggests the following:
- Contact your senators to tell them to vote "yes" on cloture on the highway bill on Tuesday, and contact your representatives to tell them to keep the reauthorization process moving. "Our grassroots tool makes it quick and easy for you to make your voice heard," says the organization.
- If you'd rather contact the Hill by phone, call the congressional switchboard number at 202-224-3121. If you don't know who your congressman and senators are, just give your zip code and the operator will take care of the rest. When you're connected to the congressional office, ask to speak to the transportation legislative assistant or the legislative director. Remember: You don't have to be an expert on the political nuances or policy details; you just have to be able to explain why getting a highway bill is so important for your company, employees, and customers.
- Have your IT people set up a computer in the break room and encourage your employees to contact the Hill to be part of this industry effort.
- Sign up for a Twitter account and follow @AEDGovAffairs to stay up to date with the latest info about what's happening on the reauthorization front. Search Twitter for #EquipmentIndustryActionDay for updates about this grassroots push.
- Register for AED's 2012 Fly-In (April 25 & 26) and come to Washington, D.C. to get personally involved. By then we hope to be in final conference negotiations on the highway bill, but wherever the process stands, your presence will make a difference. Register online here.