Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) President and CEO Toby Mack issued the following statement in response to the Senate's approval of its highway bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) (S.1813):
"The Senate's approval of a new highway bill is a step in the right direction. After more than two-and-a-half years since the expiration of the nation's last long-term surface transportation bill, equipment distributors are grateful to see concrete action to restore certainty to our transportation programs and construction markets.
"The Senate has offered a glimmer of hope to a construction industry plagued by Congress' inability to provide certainty to federal transportation programs. MAP-21 maintains critical investment levels and will help create and sustain millions of jobs, while its sweeping program reforms will accelerate project delivery and enhance the private sector's role in national infrastructure development.
"By passing MAP-21, senators recognized an important difference between wasteful government spending and critical investments to our transportation networks that will fuel economic growth. There is no better investment than improving our nation's infrastructure. AED applauds Environment & Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe, as well as Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for putting partisan politics aside for the good of the American people.
"The burden now falls on the House to approve a long-term bill so that the two chambers can move to conference and produce a new transportation law that upholds important investments and ensures certainty in construction and equipment markets. AED looks forward to working with lawmakers of both parties in the House and Senate to accomplish that goal."
AED is a Washington, D.C.-based international trade association representing companies involved in the distribution, rental, and support of equipment used in construction, mining, energy, forestry, power generation, agriculture, and industrial applications.