ARTBA President Pete Ruane offered the following statement on the House Republican Rules Package vote:
“Thirteen years ago, Congressional Republicans and Democrats alike voted overwhelmingly to provide budgetary guarantees that ensured all federal gas and diesel tax user fee revenue collected for the Highway Trust Fund would be invested exclusively and in a timely manner in state highway, bridge and transit improvements. Today, House Republicans behind closed doors, in a secret ballot, unilaterally rescinded those guarantees as part of their new House rules package. This is a reversion back to the budget gimmicks of the past that allows the Highway Trust Fund balance to be used to hide the true size of the federal deficit.
“The real life implication of this action is that it injects further uncertainty into the already reeling U.S. transportation construction market where unemployment is in excess of 18 percent — twice the national average. Long-term transportation plans and projects require stable, predictable funding. With multi-year reauthorization of the federal highway and transit programs now more than 15 months overdue, this sends the wrong signal to the states and Wall Street.”