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AGC Continues to Push for Infrastructure Funds in Economic Stimulus

November 14, 2008
Despite a great deal of talk about Congress taking up economic stimulus legislation in a lame duck session, it still remains uncertain whether or not this will happen. The Senate is scheduled to be in session next week. In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has expressed the desire to go back into session to address stimulus legislation but she has not yet officially called the House back into session. In a press conference this week, President-Elect Obama urged Congress to pass stimulus legislation as soon as possible. However, President Bush has expressed skepticism about the benefit from this legislation. AGC continues to advocate 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 in 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 member Brian Burgett, President and CEO of Kokosing Construction Co., Inc., Fredericktown, Ohio, testified on behalf of AGC October 29 before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to urge Congress to enact an economic recovery package which would include infrastructure investment to create jobs.  Mr. Burgett described for the Committee market conditions facing his company and the commercial construction company as a whole, including rising unemployment, credit availability issues, and volatile construction materials prices. The Committee asked Mr. Burgett to focus his remarks on the immediate needs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The Corps estimates that a $5 billion investment would create 140,000 direct and indirect jobs and that contracts could be awarded in less than 9 months for large projects, and sooner for on-going and smaller projects.  To view Mr. Burgett's testimony, click here. The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Representative Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), also met October 29 for a hearing on economic recovery, job creation, and investment in America. Two panels testified before the committee with representatives from state and local governments, think tanks, and industry. To view the testimony AGC submitted for the hearing click here. 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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