The Highway Materials Group, a coalition of concrete, cement, aggregate and asphalt interests, is calling on Congress to pass a multi-year transportation authorization bill following a temporary patch lawmakers approved before their August recess.
“We are grateful Congress averted a fiscal cliff by continuing transportation funding through May 2015, but it missed the opportunity to provide the certainty that states, localities and industries, like ours, require for road, highway and bridge projects,” says National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association CEO Mike Johnson. “Congress needs to return to work in September and develop a multiyear surface transportation authorization that includes a sustainable funding mechanism. America cannot afford to wait until more bridges collapse and roads crumble. Transportation historically has united the parties in pursuit of what was good and needed for America to compete and thrive. Congress must continue the tradition of bipartisanship that resulted in passage of H.R. 5021.”
In addition to NSSGA, the Highway Materials Group is comprised of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Portland Cement Association, American Concrete Pavement Association, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, and National Asphalt Pavement Association. Since the passage of MAP-21, carrying the federal highway and bridge program through September 2014, it has worked for a new six-year surface transportation authorization to stabilize and grow the Highway Trust Fund. Reauthorization principles the group circulated on Capitol Hill cite:
- Increased investments needed to maintain and expand the highway system essential to meet the competitive demands of the global economy;
- Fulfillment of the Constitutional responsibility as provided in Article 1, Section 8 to “establish Post Offices and post Roads,” which are the precursor of the National Highway System; and,
- Retention of the user-fee based system that ensures all users of the highway system contribute toward its construction, maintenance and rehabilitation.