House Moves NAM-Supported Temporary Highway Trust Fund Fix
The House passed critical legislation (H.R. 5021) on July 15 by a solid bipartisan vote of 367–55 to provide temporary relief to the Highway Trust Fund through May 2015 as a solvency crisis nears.
Prior to the vote, the NAM sent a Key Vote letter to every House member and led efforts on a business community letter signed by more than 60 members of the Council of Manufacturing Associations andState Associations Group urging support for the bill.
“The need to keep the Highway Trust Fund financially solvent extends far beyond state transportation departments and road builders,” the NAM Key Vote letter stated. “Manufacturers need stable and reliable infrastructure to thrive and compete in today’s economy.”
The NAM letter spelled out that “the impending low balance in the Highway Trust Fund threatens approximately 100,000 road, bridge and transit construction sites, which support 700,000 jobs nationwide. Losing these jobs would be devastating to the economy.” Click here for more on the NAM’s Key Vote letter in The Hill.
“Manufacturers commend the House for swift passage of H.R. 5021, which temporarily ends the uncertainty facing the Highway Trust Fund,” commented NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Legal and Regulatory Policy Rosario Palmieri in the NAM press statement. “However, there is still much work to be done. Passing a fully funded, multiyear surface transporation bill is the next order of business for improving infrastructure, and manufacturers will continue to make the case to policymakers that investing in infrastructure supports competitiveness, growth and jobs.”
Politico (subscription required) reported that the NAM and 62 industry groups and unions representing every sector of the economy signed on to a letter this week urging Congress to find a long-term fix for the Highway Trust Fund in 2014.
The nearly $11 billion transportation funding package passed by the House is similar, but not identical, to a measure approved last week by the Senate Finance Committee. The Senate is expected to take up H.R. 5021, along with two other transportation funding measures, next week.
A survey on infrastructure conducted by the NAM and Building America’s Future shows two-thirds of 400 manufacturers polled doubt that our infrastructure is positioned to respond to the competitive demands of a growing economy.
Modernizing and investing in infrastructure is a key priority of the NAM’s Growth Agenda to make the United States the best place in the world to manufacture and attract foreign direct investment.