Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) held a press conference calling on her colleagues to preserve 3 million jobs in jeopardy due to severe funding shortfalls at the expiration of MAP-21, if Congress fails to act.
Boxer was joined by Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John Rockefeller, IV, (D-W.Va.) and Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) in a letter to their colleagues explaining the transportation fiscal cliff faced at the expiration of MAP-21. Along with the letter, the three released a state-by-state breakdown of how many jobs would be lost, from nearly 120,000 in Texas to just under 6,000 in New Hampshire.
In a response to a media question, Boxer characterized the need for good roads and highways as a “basic need.” She said there are many possible funding options that she will be presenting to her committee colleagues.
Boxer was backed by transportation interest groups that joined her in the call for action and in highlighting the importance of the nation’s surface transportation network to economic growth and job creation. NSSGA Chairman of the Board of Directors Ward Nye, president and CEO, Martin Marietta Materials, Raleigh, N.C., said, “We applaud Chairman Boxer for making the case for Congress to take steps now to assure the future of the Highway Trust Fund before it becomes insolvent in 2015. We support the chairman and will continue our grassroots efforts to grow the coalition calling for action.”
NSSGA has been pushing its “Driving it Home 2013” effort in August with the special targets being the 19 new members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The goal is to ensure each of these members takes a tour or is scheduled for a tour of an aggregates operation during the August congressional recess.
NSSGA President and CEO R. A. Edwards, III, added, “We’ve joined with Chairman Boxer in the effort to educate members of Congress on the serious condition of the Highway Trust Fund. It will crash without congressional action, yet many members are unaware of the looming funding crisis.”