The state of United States transportation infrastructure received good news this week, with Congress and the White House taking steps to eliminate the $7.6 billion rescission of Highway Trust Fund contract authority that was set to take effect on July 1, 2020.
This initiative was included in a continuing resolution for a stop-gap federal funding bill. Had the rescission, which was part of the current U.S. surface transportation law, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, remained intact, it would have resulted in highway funding provided by Congress, as per the FAST Act, being taken back, and subsequently negatively impact all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Last May, leadership for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure explained that were the rescission to remain in place, it would significantly limit the flexibility of all states and impact the ability to plan and execute highway and bridge projects, adding that these projects are necessary in order to grow the U.S. economy, create jobs, and ensure the Nation’s global competitiveness.
“The elimination of the $7.6 Billion recession of transportation dollars in this weeks spending extension is a great win for infrastructure and for state and local DOT’s,” Randy Mullett, principal of Mullett Strategies, a consulting practice focused on helping clients navigate the intricacies of Washington, DC in the areas of trucking, freight, sustainability, security, and safety, and longtime Government Relations and Public Affairs official for Con-way and XPO Logistics. “The strong bipartisan, bicameral support reaffirms widespread congressional interest in robust federal infrastructure spending. Hopefully this bodes well for passage of a meaningful infrastructure bill in 2020.”
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works leadership also praised this move, with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) saying that states can now safely plan to fix their roads and bridges and calling the removal of the rescission critical.
“The Senate has taken important bipartisan action to help states get highway infrastructure projects done,” said Barrasso. “If it had remained in place, the rescission would have hurt our economy and cost jobs. Now, states can safely plan to fix their roads and bridges.”
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