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Highway & Transportation

February 10, 2009
By a 61-37 vote, the Senate today passed its $838 billion economic stimulus bill after adopting the compromise amendment offered by Sens. Susan Collins, (R-Maine) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb). Sens. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania joined Collins as the only Republicans to vote for the bill. The bill will now go to a conference committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions.
January 30, 2009
The House passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the Economic Stimulus Package, on Wednesday by a vote of 244 to 188.
January 30, 2009
The Senate has approved the nomination of former Rep. Ray LaHood an Illinois Republican, to serve as Secretary of Transportation. During his confirmation hearing Secretary LaHood said his priorities will focus on the economy, safety, mitigation of global warming and promotion of sustainable communities. In response to questions concerning the health of the Highway Trust Fund, LaHood said he recognized the need to develop new revenue sources but said use of the gas tax for this purpose is a "dinosaur".
January 22, 2009
AGC presented testimony to the House T&I Committee in support of the infrastructure investment included in the economic stimulus legislation under consideration. Presenting AGC's testimony was George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller who made the arguments that the current stimulus plan's proposed infrastructure investments would create or support more than 1.85 million new jobs between now and the end of 2010.  He said that would include over 620,000 construction jobs, 300,000 jobs in supplying industries and 930,000 jobs throughout the broader economy.
January 22, 2009
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office earlier this week released a report giving its assessment of the proposed economic stimulus legislation and projected that less than half of the funds are likely to be used before the end of fiscal 2010. The CBO said the balance would likely be spent over the next several years, after the recession is projected to end. The report specifically questions how quickly the infrastructure funds will make their way into the economy. Republican leaders said the analysis shows that the package wouldn't create the promised jobs.  
January 22, 2009

 The House Appropriations Committee yesterday approved the portion of the economic stimulus legislation which falls within its jurisdiction, including infrastructure funding for various federal programs. The transportation related portion of the bill includes: $30 billion for highways and bridges, $9 billion for transit ($6 billion of which is for bus and equipment purchase), $1.1 billion for AMTRAK, $3 billion for the Airport Improvement Program, $150 million Coast Guard funding to repair or remove bridges on navigable waterways.

January 16, 2009
On January 15, the House Democratic Leadership announced details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Details of the $825 billion package were released by the House Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees. The total package consists of $275 billion in economic recovery tax cuts and $550 billion in targeted investments, coupled with several unprecedented accountability measures. AGC estimates that approximately $150 billion of the spending proposed in this bill would benefit the construction industry.
December 18, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama plans to nominate Rep. Ray LaHood an Illinois Republican, to be the next Secretary of Transportation, according to media reports and other sources. LaHood has served in the House of Representatives since 1995. He decided to retire at the end of the current Congress after having served seven terms. LaHood is familiar with transportation issues having served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 1995-2000. In 2001 he became a member of the Appropriations Committee.
December 11, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama used a radio address to the nation this past weekend to urge enactment of a new economic stimulus package to create jobs as his first priority in January, calling for "the largest new investment in roads and bridges since President Dwight D. Eisenhower built the Interstate system in the late 1950s."
December 11, 2008
Today AGC launched a new national effort to ensure that Congress and the President-elect understand the vital need for investing in infrastructure as part of the pending stimulus package. The centerpiece of this effort is, frankly, you.

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