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Senate Letter – Reauthorize the Surface Transportation Bill in This Congress

By Admin

The Honorable Harry Reid

Majority Leader

The United States Senate

Washington, D.C. 20510


The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Minority Leader

The United States Senate

Washington, D.C. 20510


Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:


On behalf of the affiliated unions of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), we urge your support for the reauthorization of federal surface transportation programs during the 111th Congress.  This legislation is critically important to job creation, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and ensuring a competitive American economy for decades to come.


We cannot afford to delay any longer, especially as our mass transit systems struggle to meet soaring demand during the current economic decline and as our national highway and bridge network falls into a severe state of disrepair.  Toward that end, we support a short-term extension of the authorization while Congress works to complete a long-term bill.  We urge you to back legislation authored by House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Oberstar, which will give Congress the opportunity to complete a strong, multi-year authorization during the 111th Congress.


It is impossible to rebuild America’s infrastructure without a dedicated revenue stream of sufficient size.  That is why our member unions endorsed an increase in the current fuel user fee earlier this year and called for other measures that will help accomplish the goal of paying for a massive investment in our surface transportation system.  An increase in the fuel tax is also supported by the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission, the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, business groups, transportation advocates, labor unions, and others.


We understand that some are arguing against a fuel tax increase during these difficult economic times.  However, the risks of inaction outweigh the risks of supporting a serious effort to increase investment in our surface transportation system.  The Oberstar legislation as currently drafted will invest almost half a trillion dollars in our national transportation network, put six million Americans to work in six years, and finally end the decades of neglect that have harmed our national economy.


Action on the surface transportation reauthorization should not be delayed any longer.  We look forward to working with you to enact this essential legislation during this Congress.



Edward Wytkind


Attached Document or File This letter on TTD letterhead