Reps. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) and Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), both members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, led a coalition of bipartisan members in a letter to House leadership encouraging support for state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) in the next package of COVID-19 relief legislation. This aid will help critical infrastructure projects move forward, while also keeping other critical state DOT functions operational.
“We are writing in support of the calls for a $49.95 billion infusion of federal funding to state DOTs in the next COVID-19 response legislation,” the lawmakers wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “Our transportation system is essential to America’s economic recovery, but it is facing an immediate need as the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacts states’ transportation revenues. With negotiations for the next COVID-19 relief package underway, we write to convey our strong support that future legislation includes a provision to address the needs of highway and bridge projects.”
“The coronavirus is having a devastating economic impact on states,” said Lamb. “We need to take bold action to invest in infrastructure projects to spur our economy and ensure that we are protecting good paying jobs. This is a strategic investment that will help our state and local communities recover faster while improving our roads and transportation systems.”
“As the coronavirus severely reduces the revenue streams for state transportation agencies, it is clear that transportation infrastructure will need support to fill in the funding gaps for what is truly essential infrastructure,” said Gibbs. “Because states fund their transportation agencies through fuel taxes and tolls, the funding shortage will disproportionately impact those agencies. When the nation begins returning to normal, and surface transportation traffic returns to pre-coronavirus levels, the reduction in revenue may leave important projects incomplete or unfunded without a boost in any future coronavirus legislation.”
In addition to Lamb and Gibbs, the bipartisan letter was signed by 135 members.
The letter is supported by various groups and coalitions, including, but not limited to: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials – National Conference of State Legislatures – Transportation Construction Coalition – American Road & Transportation Builders Association – Associated General Contractors of America – National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) – International Union of Operating Engineers – Laborers’ International Union of North America – Highway Materials Group – American Highway Users Alliance – American Council of Engineering Companies – American Society of Civil Engineers – Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure – National Asphalt Pavement Association – Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO – Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
NSSGA Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs Michele Stanley issued the following statement commending Gibbs and Lamb for their support:
“I commend Rep. Gibbs, Rep. Lamb and the 135 other members of Congress who have joined together to fight for our DOTs, which are facing dire budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This bipartisan effort is a testament to the critical work NSSGA members and the entire construction industry engage in to improve roadways and bridges in communities across the nation. Today’s letter is a first step to providing a necessary and targeted backstop that allows this important work to continue. On behalf of the more than 400 NSSGA member companies, we thank Reps. Gibbs and Lamb and all the members of Congress on the letter for their leadership to ensure our state DOTs can continue to function.”