Statement by AEM President, Dennis Slater
In separate events this week, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced their plans to meet the September 30, 2011 deadline to reauthorize the surface transportation programs.
AEM strongly urges the Senate and the House to approve a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill that reforms, streamlines project delivery and increases the funding for critically needed infrastructure modernization in this country. The legislation should at least maintain funding levels.
AEM and its member companies appreciate the hard work the Senate and the House committees have done, yet the September 30 legislative deadline is looming large and we ask that Congress approve this critical legislation.
These are difficult times. We understand and share the concern over the nation’s fiscal situation; our debt and deficit must be brought under control to ensure long-term stability. However, focused and strategically sound infrastructure investment drives productivity and creates wealth in society. Infrastructure investment should be part of the solution to our current economic crisis.
Construction spending is at the lowest in 11 years. It seems this is exactly the wrong time to reduce infrastructure investment by 35% as the House proposal suggests.
AEM’s member companies believe a strong, fully funded reauthorization bill that is deficit-neutral can be crafted, and we are committed to helping Congress achieve this critical goal. We must not let the valid need for fiscal constraint prevent us from making desperately needed, high-return investments that will fuel economic growth now and long into the future.