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Momentum for Infrastructure Funding Continues
Themes Coalesce at National Infrastructure Week Advocacy Forum

Momentum for Infrastructure Funding Continues

Caption: Infrastructure Week, which took place May 13-20 this year, is a national week of events, media coverage, education and advocacy efforts to promote the importance of improving America's infrastructure.

While industry leaders and legislators back bipartisan efforts on infrastructure investment legislation, the Speaker of the House expressed optimism that a deal can be reached.

Recently, an executive committee member of the Associated Equipment Distributors, Michael Vazquez addressed this issue in a public forum outside the nation's Capitol. He was joined by joined by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a senior member of the House Ways & Means Committee, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), the ranking Republican on the House Highway & Transit Subcommittee, and several other senior construction industry principals.

"For the last decade, the construction industry has been plagued with uncertainty due to inaction on a long-term infrastructure plan," Vazquez related. "In particular, the Highway Trust Fund's inadequate resources prevent states from planning significant projects. Our failure to invest impacts everyone's quality of life, the competitiveness of our businesses, and the safety and security of our country."

The event was organized by the Highway Materials Group, a coalition of trade associations representing companies that provide the materials and equipment for the construction of roads, bridges, highways, airports and water infrastructure. The organization is also funding a television advertising campaign called "Life Won't Wait" urging this nation's leaders to fund infrastructure investment now.
Meanwhile U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking to the Transportation Construction Coalition, expressed her confidence in getting a comprehensive infrastructure package done in the current Congress.
There are expectations that she and leaders of her caucus will soon meet with President Trump and top Republicans, possibly this week, to discuss moving forward on the issues.
At the same event, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member on the surface transportation panel, reminded all in attendance that a bipartisan infrastructure funding agreement would require the president's support, and the strong support of federal funding.

As reported in Transport Topics, Carper stated, "If we're going to have something as robust as $2 trillion, it has to be substantial. I don't expect (Trump) to be out there all by himself fighting for $2 trillion. If it's reasonable, hopefully we'll have the opportunity to help craft a package in the end, but he needs to show leadership."

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January 27, 2020, 4:22 am PDT

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