Washington, DC — Larry I. Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) issued this statement on the Problem Solvers Caucus Infrastructure Working Group Report Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure:
“We applaud the Problem Solvers Caucus Infrastructure Working Group, led by Reps. Elizabeth Etsy (D-CT) and John Katko (R-NY), for recognizing the urgency of America’s infrastructure crisis and are pleased many of the bipartisan proposals outlined in Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure are solutions transportation labor has long called for. We believe this report can and should act as a framework for investing in our transportation system in a way that will breathe new life into the middle class.
“Specifically, we are pleased that the Problem Solvers report calls for stabilizing the Highway Trust Fund by modernizing a gasoline or alternative user fee and providing proper indexing tools. Increasing and indexing a user fee, a long-time transportation labor priority, is the most viable means of funding surface transportation programs because it raises sufficient funding, maintains a dedicated revenue stream, and can be easily implemented. Fixing the Trust Fund requires tough decisions, and we believe the recommendations of the Problem Solvers Caucus should be part of any infrastructure discussion.
“All infrastructure investments should be accompanied by strong Buy America requirements that leverage U.S. tax dollars to create good jobs here at home. We applaud working group members for recommending these requirements be included in all federally funded infrastructure projects.
“We are also pleased the report contains common-sense, long overdue reforms to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF). Ensuring revenue collected in the fund goes toward its intended purpose of supporting ports, harbors and waterways will enable American ports to compete in an increasingly competitive global environment.
“Addressing our country’s severe and widespread infrastructure problems while creating good jobs for Americans who need them most will require cooperation and leadership from political leaders on both sides of the aisle. The example set by the Problem Solvers Caucus Infrastructure Working Group is an important step and we look forward to working with lawmakers to invest in our nation’s infrastructure.”