House Republicans ask Secretary Buttigieg to Rescind Controversial FHWA Guidance Memo

Joins the Growing Chorus of Bipartisan Opposition to the Memo

Republican House Members, led by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO.), wrote to Secretary Buttigieg asking that he rescind the controversial Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidance memo that would, among other things, limit a state’s ability to add new highway capacity. You might remember, AGC was one of the first to object to FHWA on this same memo back in January.

As a reminder, AGC recently wrote of opposition by Republicans in the Senate. In addition, a group of Democrats in the Senate also voiced concerns with the policy.

The FHWA memo promotes the same narrative that some external stakeholders and Members of Congress already pushed, that state DOTs should focus exclusively on maintenance and repair work on existing roadways (“fix-it first”) before building more or new roads. At first, this so-called “fix it first” approach sounds like common sense. However, in promoting that policy FHWA and some stakeholders are just trying to limit a state’s ability to add new highway capacity.

In analyzing FHWA’s own data, AGC has found that we are already “fixing it first.” In fact, 80% of the funding that states receive already goes towards maintaining and reconstructing existing infrastructure. Our interstates were built and designed over 50 years ago, so it makes sense that states are now largely focused on maintaining and modernizing them. But it is also critical that states have the flexibility to add new capacity to meet the needs of a growing population.

For more information, contact Alex Etchen at

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