In 2012, Congress passed and the President signed into law the federal surface transportation authorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) which funds highway and transit investments through FY 2014. MAP-21 makes landmark reforms in the highway and transit programs that will greatly improve our transportation infrastructure network. It focuses the program on high priority investments and removes redundant procedures that had delayed project delivery for years in many cases. The legislation contains several provisions important to the construction industry including: reforming the environmental review and planning process, addressing highway workers safety, establishing performance measures, and expanding the Transportation Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program. Congress is beginning the reauthorization of MAP-21 and AGC will work with the House and Senate to ensure that the construction industries interests are represented throughout the reauthorization process.
Unfortunately, MAP-21 did nothing to resolve the long-term funding problem facing our federal-aid highway and transit programs and in order to reauthorize the bill Congress must now find additional revenue to support the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). MAP-21 used a general fund transfer of almost $20 billion to supplement declining HTF revenue. This additional revenue was intended to support the HTF through fiscal year 2014. However, based on current spending and revenue trends, the US Department of Transportation estimates the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund will encounter a shortfall before the end of FY 2014 and the Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund will only have $440 million at the end of FY 2014. This may result in state transportation programs slowing lettings and cutting back their programs in 2014. In 2015, the HTF will not be able to meet any new obligations which equates to a $51 billion cut to federal transportation programs. In order to avoid these draconian cuts Congress and the Administration must act to address the HTF revenue shortfall as they reauthorize MAP-21 before the law expires in September 2014, while continuing to provide the full MAP-21 authorized funding levels for highway and transit programs in fiscal year 2014.
AGC members are urged to contact their Representatives and Senators and encourage them to ACT NOW to consider how the trust fund revenue should be raised.
AGC of America needs your help to ensure Congress understands that solving our highway and transit funding challenges is essential to our long-term economic growth and prosperity. You can help by contacting your congressional delegation, writing to the local media and spreading the word with your friends, family and industry partners.
Write to Your Elected Officials!
- Use customizable template letters that can be sent to elected officials urging support and passage of a new highway and transit bill.
Further investment in transportation infrastructure will help the nation achieve economic growth and job creation while restoring America’s exceptional promise. It is imperative that our country invest in our infrastructure to grow the economy. Elimination of unnecessary programs and requirements should be a key component of reauthorization. However, this alone will not provide the resources needed to support a targeted, cohesive national transportation policy. AGC’s priorities for surface transportation reauthorization include:
- AGC Transportation Reauthorization Letter to Conferees
- Establish a Clear, Achievable National Goal
- Multi-Year Authorization
- Performance Standards
- Supplementing Current Revenues/Innovative Financing
- Freight Movement
- User Fee Financing
- Project Delivery and Streamlining
- Reform Transportation Program
- Clean Construction
- Work Zone Safety
- Congressional Committees Hold Hearings on Transportation Funding Challenges
- CBO Reports on Infrastructure Spending
- House Passes Bill to Improve Passenger Rail
- DOT Allows Use of Local Hire Preference on Highway and Transit Contracts
- Construction Firms Add 17,000 Jobs in May; Industry's Unemployment Rate Hits 6.7 Percent
- Future Needs of the US Surface Transportation System
- Surface Transportation Policy Recommendations
- Revenue Resources to Fund Transportation Needs
- America's Freight Challenge
- Accelerating Project Delivery
- A New Vision for the 21st Century
- Transportation Governance and Finance: A Fifty State Review
- Funding and Financing Solutions for Surface transportation in the Coming Decade
- Report on Trials to Implement Vehicle Miles Traveled Fees