Senate Committee Examines Surface Transportation Funding Bill

November 10, 2011

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works took a significant step toward passing a bipartisan highway funding bill Wednesday.

Led by Sens. Barbara Boxer and Jim Inhofe, the committee began consideration of the multi-year surface transportation reauthorization legislation known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP 21. MAP 21 is a two-year bill that seeks to prevent a decrease in federal funding for America’s transportation infrastructure needs.

At the hearing, Sen. Boxer specifically referenced the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in her testimony, stating:

"To close, I want to read only one sentence from one letter, and this is from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and this is what they write us: ‘We believe there is no single piece of legislation that this Congress can consider that could do more to quickly create jobs and generate economic activity.’ "

AEM President Dennis Slater stated, "Road and bridge deterioration is one of the greatest barriers to global competitiveness. U.S. manufacturers and farmers alike say deteriorating roads, bridges and highways cost them time and money transporting their products to ports for export to overseas markets. For example, the recently passed export agreements with Columbia, South Korea and Panama have the potential to create thousands of new jobs, but if farmers and manufacturers can’t transport products at a competitive rate, they lose."

Slater added, "Global competitiveness and productivity require modernizing and rebuilding America’s transportation system. Bipartisan support in Congress for the transportation reauthorization bill is vital to U.S. manufacturers and farmers."