Failure to Pass Highway and Transit Legislation will Cripple Nation’s Construction Industry, Undermine Economic Recovery
Stephen E. Sandherr, the chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America issued the following statement in response to Congressional failure to pass vital surface transportation legislation before the current federal program expires at the end of the month:
"As one of the largest components of the U.S. economy, America's construction companies depend on the nation's transportation network for their success. When building materials and supplies are stuck in traffic and workers are late because of unreliable roads or delayed transit systems, construction companies suffer. Addressing the growing congestion, capacity and maintenance challenges facing our highways, bridges and public transportation systems is essential to supporting an industry that contributed to over 17 million American jobs last year.
"The cost - in wasted fuel, lost productivity and wasted opportunity - of continued under-investment in our transportation network will only grow if we don't act now. Congress and the Obama Administration must follow the guidance of numerous high-level, bipartisan commissions in restoring highway and transportation user fees to previous purchasing levels by raising the gas tax to $0.36 per gallon, and streamlining federal transportation programs. With double-digit unemployment and an almost 20 percent decline in construction activity this year, tens of thousands of construction firms are relying on Washington to put an end to the gridlock that is sapping revenue and costing jobs."