Bipartisan forward progress for surface transportation is on the horizon. The Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 (STRA) bill was unanimously passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, Wednesday.
Senators on the Committee sent a letter to Majority Leader, Charles Schumer urging movement towards "the consideration of a robust infrastructure package at the scale and scope necessary to address the ongoing climate crisis, rebuild our economy, protect public health, create good-paying jobs and address longstanding inequities."
The progression of the $303.5 billion highway bill being passed by the EPW, is movement in the right direction and much needed for the roadbuilding industry.
"This legislation cannot be the last word on our national infrastructure needs," said the Senators in the letter. "We must think bigger, do more and not allow for the delay or derailment of our pro-jobs, pro-climate, and pro-justice agenda."
Leaders in the industry agree, including the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.
“For the second time in two years under a chairman from different political parties, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has unanimously approved multi-year legislation to provide a major boost in highway investment," said ARTBA President Dave Bauer. "We commend Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Capito, and the rest of the committee for keeping focused on the task at hand."
The swift passage of this bill by the EPW might be the moment the Senate needs to continue the progression. The current short-term extension expires September 20,2021.
The Committee members concluded, "we must seize the opportunities produced by investing in our national infrastructure at the scope and scale it deserves."