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T&I Committee Hearing a Step Forward in Recognizing America’s Transportation Infrastructure Crisis

“America the Crumbling or America the Great? It’s Time to Build America”

Washington, D.C. (January 14, 2014) – The U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing, “Building the Foundation for Surface Transportation Reauthorization,” underscores the urgent need for passing a long-term Highway Bill before the current bill expires on Oct. 1. Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers' International Union of North America – made the following statement:

“Continuing the duct-tape approach to our crumbling transportation infrastructure could rob our economy trillions of dollars in lost economic growth, lost trade, a deteriorating lifestyle and lost jobs. It has already meant too much in wasted fuel, needless repairs due to the decay of our roads, escalating costs due to delaying projects and robbing Peter to pay Paul in the form of transfers from the General Treasury or other accounts to cover shortfalls.

“Are we America the crumbling or America the great? It should not be an option. It’s time to build America. Investing in and building America’s transportation systems will save all taxpayers money. Every dollar we invest now could save $14 down the road, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

“This issue should not be a partisan one. Interstate highways were built under Republican President Dwight Eisenhower. Both parties maintained them under Presidents Reagan and Clinton. Now Republicans from former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue to Democrats such as former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer and California Sen. Barbara Boxer, to leaders of labor unions and a broad array of membership organizations agree we must use new gas tax reforms or other methods to modernize our roads, bridges and transit systems.

“The needs are great. The rewards can be real. We’re hopeful Congress will find the will. We applaud House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster for his continuing efforts to move forward on a reauthorization of the Highway Bill.”