On behalf of U.S. equipment manufacturers and I Make America's nearly 20,000 grassroots supporters nationwide, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement urging congressional leaders in the House and Senate to pass their respective highway bills (H.R. 7 and MAP-21) and move quickly to conference:
"AEM's I Make America national grassroots campaign, launched in 2010 in support of manufacturing policies that create jobs, foster economic growth and promote American competitiveness, has grown to nearly 20,000 supporters nationwide. Starting today, AEM will be calling upon these supporters, together with our more than 850 member companies, to contact legislators, sign petitions and engage across social media to urge the House and Senate to pass their bills and quickly reach a bipartisan agreement in conference.
"While we are encouraged to see that House and Senate leadership recognize the critical importance of moving infrastructure investment legislation through their chambers, the real work lies ahead. There are significant differences in the House and Senate highway bills that must be resolved in conference. House and Senate leadership and conferees will need to put partisanship aside and work together to quickly achieve an agreement on a comprehensive, fully funded highway bill to send to President Obama before the stopgap extension expires next month.
"There is no single piece of legislation now before Congress that will do more to immediately create American jobs and sharpen our global competitiveness. U.S. businesses are suffering and millions of Americans are still out of work. The finish line is now in sight, and it will take the commitment of both political parties and both Houses of Congress to successfully cross it.
"On behalf of America's equipment manufacturers and the tens of thousands of people they employ nationwide, today we call on Congress to work together to pass this critical legislation."