TCC Testimony Addresses Highway Trust Fund Solvency
AGC member John McCaskie, Swank Associated Companies, New Kensington, Pa., represented the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Thursday at a hearing called by the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee to answer questions related to the impact of the Highway Trust Fund’s revenue shortage. TCC’s testimony pointed out that states are already putting fewer contracts out to bid due to the huge increase in construction material costs since 2003 that has reduced the buying power of public works dollars.
McCaskie (far left) noted that the reduction in contracts has lead to a 2.4 percent reduction in highway worker employment over the past fourteen months. A reduction of as much as 32 percent in federal highway funding in FY 2009 would make this problem much worse and could lead to further increases in construction unemployment and the inability of states to address their growing transportation infrastructure needs. McCaskie also noted that, “Our nation already faces a transportation crisis, is not currently investing enough to address the crisis, and cannot afford to get further behind by cutting transportation investment.”
Acting Federal Highway Administrator Jim Ray and Federal Transit Administrator James Simpson joined McCaskie on the panel and presented the Administration’s case for reducing federal highway and transit funding next year. Subcommittee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member Kit Bond (R-Mo.) both stated that now is not the time to reduce Federal transportation investment. Sen. Murray indicated she would be encouraging increased infrastructure investment as part of future economic stimulus legislation.
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