Nov. 7, 2014 – Michael W. Johnson, president and CEO of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, has an important message for aggregates producers. It goes like this:
“The American people have selected who will represent them during the next Congress, but remember six more weeks of work remain for members of the 113th Congress. Tell them today that their job is not done; they must fix the Highway Trust Fund now.
“Congress, in late July, approved a patch to extend the life of the Highway Trust Fund and all programs under MAP-21 through May 2015. While NSSGA was pleased the extension was passed, ensuring federal dollars would continue flowing to the states without interruption, we made it clear to members of Congress that a short-term solution was no solution at all. And there is no guarantee that the $10.8 billion included in the bill will even fund the program through May of next year. Once again, a construction season is threatened with the accompanying uncertainty rippling through the economy.
“We urge this Congress – not the next – to take seriously the projected catastrophic funding shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund. NSSGA needs your help. Call your members of Congress now and encourage them to use the lame-duck legislative session to their advantage. Opportunities abound during the period of time between Election Day and the first day of a new Congress for bipartisan solutions to normally politically radioactive issues. A sound funding option for the future is critical in order to achieve a bold, new, long-term, multi-modal vision for our national transportation system.
“Congress must finally tackle – and resolve – the issue of raising the necessary revenue. As far as NSSGA is concerned nothing is off the table.
“The answer to truly getting America’s economy growing again lies in fixing the Highway Trust Fund and passing a long-term surface transportation bill. The World Economic Forum ranks our infrastructure at 25th in the world and with our investment in infrastructure as a percentage of GDP ranked 28th, behind countries like Ireland and Greece; we are moving in the wrong direction. The United States has always built its way out of hard economic times, and Congress must hear from the aggregates industry that we are ready and eager to drive the nation back to the top.
“Contact your members of Congress today and tell them that the work of the 113th Congress is not finished until the long-term health of the Highway Trust Fund is ensured. Use NSSGA’s Washington Action Hotline to call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 866-255-3207 to reach your representative and senators or go online to NSSGA’s Legislative Action Center and send them a message demanding that they act. Click here for the Action Center.
“Members of Congress will be home for another week before returning to Washington to begin addressing issues held over for the lame-duck session. Take this opportunity to meet with them and ask them to pass a highway funding solution before the end of the year!”