[Editor: This is the text of a March 16, 2017, news release from ARTBA and the Transportation Construction Coalition.]
President’s “Budget Blueprint” Is a Missed Opportunity to Offer Permanent Highway Trust Fund Solution
(WASHINGTON)—The Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) today released the following statement about the Trump administration budget proposal:
“Encouraging as it is that the Trump administration’s fiscal year 2018 Budget Blueprint includes a reference to the President’s pending infrastructure package, it is disappointing that administration officials failed to include proposals to provide a permanent and sustainable solution for funding the Highway Trust Fund. As a result, the members of the Transportation Construction Coalition said the budget was a missed opportunity to address the chronic funding shortfalls that regularly threaten to undermine road, bridge and transit repair programs.
A permanent solution to the Highway Trust Fund’s fiscal instability that would support the President’s call for increased transportation infrastructure investment is the most effective way to achieve that goal. Since 2008, Congress has infused the trust fund with more than $140 billion in general fund transfers. While these steps have prevented dramatic reductions in federal highway and public transportation investment, the resulting uncertainty has led to project delays and diluted state efforts to implement long-term transportation improvement plans. Failure to resolve this issue once and for all prior to 2020 will require President Trump and Congress to either pass additional short-term stopgap measures or find a $110 billion off-set to pass a multi-year surface transportation bill.
Coalition members are also concerned that Budget Blueprint’s cuts needed transportation investments to support increased defense and homeland security funding. Coalition members will continue to work with Congress and the Trump administration to preserve and grow federal transportation infrastructure investment as the fiscal year 2017 and 2018 appropriations process moves forward.”
Established in 1996 and co-chaired by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the 31 associations and labor unions that make up the TCC have a direct market interest in the federal transportation program. TCC members include:
American Road & Transportation Builders Association (co-chair); Associated General Contractors of America (co-chair); American Coal Ash Association; American Concrete Pavement Association; American Concrete Pipe Association; American Council of Engineering Companies; American Subcontractors Association; American Iron and Steel Institute; American Society of Civil Engineers; American Traffic Safety Services Association; Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association; Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association; Associated Equipment Distributors; Association of Equipment Manufacturers; Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute; International Slurry Surfacing Association; International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers; International Union of Operating Engineers; Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust; Laborers’ International Union of North America; National Asphalt Pavement Association; National Association of Surety Bond Producers; National Electrical Contractors Association; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; National Steel Bridge Alliance; National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association; National Utility Contractors Association; Portland Cement Association; Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute; The Road Information Program; and United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.