The American Public Works Association (APWA) urged Congress to fully appropriate funds for the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which President Biden signed into law.
“With passage of the IIJA, Congress offered a bold vision for the future of our nation’s infrastructure. Now, it is time to ensure that the legislation receives full funding for implementation, thus ensuring that American infrastructure can support the lives of every citizen and continue to contribute to our nation’s general welfare as it has historically,” said APWA CEO Scott D. Grayson and APWA President Stan Brown wrote in a letter to Congressional leadership.
I know what you are thinking. Wait … Congress might not fully fund the IIJA? How is that possible?
As it stands, the Highway Trust Fund is one of the few government programs that contains a mandatory spending provision. But there is still a need for Congress to increase the obligation limitation for the program in an appropriations bill.
And they have not done that yet. They are too busy fighting with each other over various and sundry political principles and accomplishing next to nothing.
Grayson and Brown said full funding for IIJA will be critical in ensuring our nation’s infrastructure system receives the support Congress recognizes and intends through passage of the new law.
They said a mouthful there.
The transportation industry has spent an enormous amount of time and effort pushing for the passage of the IILA and this is no time to run into an unnecessary roadblock.
Meanwhile, additional funds are being directed to infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Transportation launched the Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program (Bridge Formula Program) with more than $27 billion for states and tribal transportation facilities to fix an estimated 15,000 bridges nationwide.
Kudos to the Department of Transportation for making crumbling bridges a national priority.
And to Congress I say, pass the appropriation bill that fully funds the IIJA and do it now. There is no time to waste.
Mark S. Kuhar, editor