The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and our 33 affiliated unions have consistently highlighted the need for reliable, long-term reauthorizations of our nation’s highway, public transit, and passenger rail systems. Moreover, we have called for additional large-scale infrastructure investments that would bring all sectors of our aging transportation infrastructure squarely into the 21st century – investments that are long overdue and enjoy broad, bipartisan support by the American people. The $1.3 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which largely met those goals, was passed this August in the Senate by a strong majority vote and with the support of President Biden.
Beyond the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, TTD supports a number of labor priorities in the Build Back Better agenda that are likely to be included in a separate budget reconciliation package. However, as you know, differences between the House and Senate over the size and scope of that package have put the entire Build Back Better agenda in jeopardy, risking immediate economic harm to working Americans.
As detailed in our policy statement, short-term extensions of our surface transportation programs have historically led to delayed or cancelled bids and increased highway and transit projects costs. With our economy on the line as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the American people can no longer afford to sit by and wait on inaction. Many of you campaigned, and won, on the promise of infrastructure to your constituents. Now is the time to deliver on that promise.
We strongly encourage you to continue your work to find agreement on the budget reconciliation package by the new October 31st deadline so we can expand access to good jobs and strong labor protections, and enhance the quality of life for all Americans.
Greg Regan Shari Semelsberger