Dear Representative:On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am writing to express our strong opposition to the Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348 – the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 – offered by Rep. Paul Broun and urge you to vote against this motion.
The cuts called for in this motion would result in devastating job losses in the transit and highway sectors and would cripple our nation’s transportation system. The motion calls for conferees to limit Highway Trust Fund spending, including the Mass Transit Account, to $37.5 billion in fiscal year 2013. Due to the structure of surface transportation programs, these cuts would likely prevent any new investments starting on October 1, 2012, thus halting job creation and bringing economic growth in the transportation industry to a standstill. A vote for this motion is a vote to cut jobs in a time when people all across the nation are suffering and our transportation system is crumbling.
By calling for spending levels that are drastically lower than that in the Senate authorization bill, this motion blatantly ignores the long-term underinvestment in our nation’s surface transportation system. Transportation investments promote economic growth, boost mobility for commuters, increase productivity for our businesses and workers, enhance America’s competitiveness in the global economy, and create and sustain millions of good jobs. Instead of considering cuts to surface transportation funding, Congress should be working towards an agreement on a long-term plan to invest in this vital area.
As the Conference Committee continues its work on the surface transportation bill, this motion serves only as a distraction. This is not the position the House took when it passed its bill to go to conference, and it is clearly not the position of the Senate which passed a bipartisan bill that would support up to 3 million jobs. As the real work of the Conference Committee continues, this motion should be rejected and forgotten.
Our surface transportation system desperately needs an infusion of federal investments. The Broun motion goes in the opposite direction – it would devastate our transportation system, harm the economy and put hundreds of thousands of men and women out of work.
On behalf of transportation labor, I urge you to oppose the Broun motion.