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Push On in Lame Duck Congress for Infrastructure Funds in Economic Stimulus

November 12, 2008
The Senate will return next week in a lame duck session to address several legislative proposals, potentially including economic stimulus legislation. In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has expressed the desire to go back into session to address stimulus legislation but she has not yet officially done so. President–elect Obama, in a press conference this week, urged Congress to pass stimulus legislation as soon as possible. However, President Bush has expressed skepticism about the benefit from this legislation. AGC and our transportation and construction industry allies have been advocating for the inclusion of infrastructure funding as part of the economic stimulus package. Prior to adjournment the House passed a stimulus bill which included $34 billion infrastructure funding, including: $12.8 billion for the federal-aid highway program; $3.6 billion for transit; $600 million for airport capital improvement projects; $7.5 billion for water infrastructure; $5 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; $3 billion for public school reconstruction; $500 million for Amtrak; and $1 billion for public housing construction. A Senate bill that included $25 billion in infrastructure spending was blocked from passage on a procedural motion. AGC’s review of economic data and other anecdotal information clearly shows that construction spending is declining, contractors have reduced or will be reducing their work force and investment in new equipment will be significantly reduced. Increased infrastructure spending would help to keep this situation from becoming worse and would benefit the economy in general. Your Senators and Representatives need to hear from you this week. Please go to AGC’s Legislative Action Center and send a message to your elected officials.
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