Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), along with Reps. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) introduced the bipartisan Providing Assistance for Vital Enhancements (PAVE) Act, legislation to authorize an additional $18 billion in emergency funding for state Departments of Transportation (DOT).
“Too many critical infrastructure projects in Pennsylvania have been delayed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lamb. “Congress must act now to ensure these stalled transportation projects can get back on track and keep workers on the job.”
“The coronavirus pandemic severely reduced revenue streams for state transportation agencies, showing a clear need to support funding gaps for what everyone can agree is truly essential infrastructure. Because states fund their transportation agencies through fuel taxes and tolls, the funding shortage has disproportionately affected those agencies. Now that we are returning to normal, and surface transportation traffic is returning to pre-coronavirus levels, it is important we address this gap. The PAVE Act ensures important projects are completed with fewer delays, keeps our major roadways safe, and workers on the job,” said Gibbs.
The PAVE Act is endorsed by the American Society of Engineers (ASCE), the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA), the American Highway Users Alliance and the Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania (CAWP).
“The PAVE Act ensures state DOTs will have the funds necessary to continue their local projects, many of which were delayed or suspended altogether due to the pandemic’s economic impact on their dedicated revenue streams,” said NSSGA Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs Michele Stanley. “While we appreciate the $10 billion secured last Congress for state DOTs, that is considerably short of what these agencies will absorb in the coming years as driving habits will permanently change for millions of Americans. These changes will directly impact statewide budgets for critical surface projects and jeopardize much-needed enhancements to our network of roads, highways and bridges.
“As the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee works to introduce and pass their surface transportation reauthorization in the coming weeks, we hope this critical, bipartisan infrastructure policy is included, which would benefit every state DOT. We thank Reps. Lamb, Gibbs and Carbajal for their leadership on this critical issue. NSSGA will echo this policy priority as a surface transportation reauthorization bill is drafted and debated,” Stanley concluded.
In April, Lamb led a bipartisan letter along with Gibbs and Carbajal to House leadership advocating for this additional funding. In the letter, the lawmakers wrote,
“As Congress considers comprehensive infrastructure legislation in the months ahead, we urge you to include additional dedicated funding for state DOTs. According to the most recent data from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), state DOTs will face a $28 billion budget shortfall from FY2020-2024 due to the pandemic. We are pleased that the end-of-year omnibus bill (H.R. 133) included a critical $10 billion down payment in relief for state DOTs and urge you to provide the additional $18 billion needed.”