On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to vote for cloture on the Motion to Proceed on S. 1813, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). After significant delay and eight extensions of the surface transportation program, now is the time to pass this critically important measure to spur job creation, rebuild America’s transportation system and help ensure a competitive U.S. economy.
There is no debate that our surface transportation system is significantly underfunded and needs a more robust and reliable funding stream. And there should be no debate that meeting these needs will create good jobs today and sustain employment for years to come. In fact, given that millions of Americans are still looking for work, a longer-term bill with higher investment levels that addresses our decaying transportation infrastructure and services is clearly warranted. But we understand the constraints that have made a shorter-term bill the best way to advance surface transportation reauthorization.
We also appreciate the bi-partisan support that S. 1813 has garnered and that its sponsors have rejected the reckless and irresponsible reforms that are being pursued in the House of Representatives. We hope that this balanced approach to our surface transportation program will continue as this bill is debated and considered on the Senate floor. We also hope that this bill can be further improved to ensure that it effectively supports all aspects of our surface transportation system, enhances safety and maximizes the job creating potential that exists in this legislation.
At a time of continued high unemployment, this vital piece of legislation may be the most important opportunity Congress has to put workers back on the job and I urge you to move forward with S. 1813.