Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) joined Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer, other senators and industry allies on the National Mall to urge lawmakers to complete the surface transportation reauthorization process before the most recent extension of funding and operating authority for the nation’s highway programs expires on June 30.
AED member Alban CAT, based in Baltimore, Md., provided heavy construction equipment to serve as a backdrop for the event and participated in a construction truck convoy to highlight the toll the uncertainty surrounding the federal highway program is having on equipment distributors across the country.
“Our nation’s transportation infrastructure is in terrible shape, inadequate and hampering economic growth. It is far past time that lawmakers put aside partisan battles and put America back to work by approving a surface transportation reauthorization conference report before June 30. Continuous extensions are unacceptable and wreaking havoc on the construction industry,” said AED President and CEO Toby Mack.
The May economic report underscores the need for urgent congressional action on legislation to spur job creation and economic growth. While the overall employment picture is bleak, the construction sector has been decimated by the recession. In fact, the industry lost 28,000 jobs in May — the largest decline in a one-month period in more than two years.
“Because the construction equipment industry plays such a large role in supporting the U.S. economy and U.S. jobs, the severe downturn in the sector is holding back the broader economy and will continue to do so unless decisive action is taken to reverse this course,” Mack added. “With this in mind, the House and Senate must work together to enact a surface transportation reauthorization conference report that will provide the market certainty necessary to revive the industry and put our people back to work.”