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Washington, D.C. (July 31, 2014) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today regarding the rejection by the U.S. House of the Senate version of HR 5021:
Some in Congress today demonstrated yet another example of their lack of courage, lack of will, and lack of integrity, when the House of Representatives once again proposed postponing consideration of a long-term highway bill until next May. Under the courageous leadership of Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Tom Carper and others, the Senate recently passed a short-term extension of highway funding until December of this year. While the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) would have preferred a long-term, multi-year funding bill, we accepted the decision to push consideration of such a bill to after the mid-term elections. We did so with the hope that we would have an adult conversation as soon as possible.
We applaud the United States Senate for its wide, bipartisan commitment to consider a long-term highway funding bill before the end of the year. But what is the House of Representatives waiting for? Another catastrophic bridge collapse? More massive potholes? A school bus accident? Our roads, bridges, and highways are literally crumbling around us; the Highway Trust Fund is about to go broke; the federal gas tax has failed to keep pace with inflation and rising fuel efficiency; and unemployed construction workers desperately need jobs.
Sadly, some Washington politicians want to stick their heads in the sand, avoid this debate as long as possible, and continue to pretend that the status quo is acceptable. This proves once again many Washington politicians have no idea how highway construction works. Wait until next May, and another construction season will be lost, more construction workers will sit idle, and our bridges will continue to fall down.
Enough is enough! It’s time for members of Congress to stop worrying about keeping their jobs and start doing their jobs! We can’t continue to let politics get in the way of doing what is right for the American people, for our economy, and for our country. We are the world’s only Superpower; it is time we started acting like it.
The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.