WASHINGTON, DC— Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued the following statement in response to Senate passage, by a vote of 74-22, of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century surface transportation bill (S.1813), known as MAP-21.
“The Senate today has proven that bipartisanship can boost the economy, fix our failing transportation system and put America back to work.
“TTD member unions were instrumental in pushing lawmakers to stop kicking the can down the road each time they failed to agree on a bill that would reverse years of neglect of our passenger and freight transportation system—the backbone of our economy.
“This two-year bill, if enacted, is a major down payment on our vision to make this the generation that rebuilds our surface transportation network and gives public transportation systems and their workers new tools to survive economic downturns.
“We commend Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) for fighting to include a measure that will spare transit systems from devastating service and job cuts brought on by recession-inspired budget crises in cities and states.
“We are also thankful for the leadership of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for his successful battle to strengthen Buy America requirements and ensure that the billions of dollars spent on our transportation sector are used to create manufacturing jobs in America.
“As the focus now turns to the House of Representatives, we offer our continued support and assistance to key leaders in that chamber that want to work with us to find a balanced approach to this must-pass legislation.
“The Senate has sent a strong message today that the needs of our transportation system can trump business-as-usual party politics. It is time for the House to embrace the same approach and do the right thing for our country.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, motor carrier, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit us at www.ttd.org or on Facebook and Twitter.