Nov 25, 2019
NAPA, AASHTO, Others Applaud Cancellation of Highway Funding Rescission
Last week, Congress blocked a $7.6 billion highway funding rescission set to take effect in July 2020. The provision was part of a stopgap spending bill extending through December 2020. President Trump signed the bill later in the day, ahead of the previous continuing resolution’s expiration.
If the rescission had been carried out, funding to the Highway Trust Fund would have been revoked.
“While the plan for these cuts was a necessary budgeting tool to get the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act passed in 2015, in practice they hamper the ability of states to build and maintain the infrastructure drivers need,” said National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) President & CEO Audrey Copeland. “By cancelling the rescission as part of this week’s Continuing Resolution, Congress will both keep the government open and keep state highway programs on track. NAPA urges all members of Congress to pass the CR to ensure no disruption in highway investment.”
Other industry groups, including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) thanked Congress and the President for their bipartisan support in eliminating the rescission.
“On behalf of the 50 state departments of transportation, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, that unanimously supported rolling back this rescission, I extend our thanks to the leadership in the House and Senate, committee leaders and their staffs, and the President for removing the threat of disruption and potential delays in the coming construction season,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director. “The resolution of this issue comes at a time when states are preparing their budgets for the coming construction season, eliminating potential uncertainty that could have delayed important transportation infrastructure investments,” he said.
However, industry leaders recognize that there is more to be done.
“This is a positive step, but it only addresses short-term needs,” Copeland added. “NAPA urges Congress to move forward with full reauthorization of the nation’s surface transportation programs. The Senate has before it America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act, but it lacks a robust funding source. To ensure American infrastructure meets the needs of today and the future, Congress has to make passage of a robustly funded, long-term surface transportation program a priority.”