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Former Governor Blasts ’Irrational’ Congress on Highway Bill

A former governor and industry leader joins the protest over the uncertainty surrounding road, bridge and transit investment.

Fri June 19, 2015 - National Edition
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Roy Romer, a former three-term Colorado governor and owner of construction and farm equipment dealerships in Colorado and Virginia urged congressional leaders to lay out a clear timetable for reauthorizing the federal highway program. Romer’s call to action came during a Capitol Hill press conference at which leading Democratic senators including Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), Richard Durbin (Ill.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Barbara Boxer (Calif.) joined with senior business and labor representatives to protest the uncertainty surrounding road, bridge and transit investment.

The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is set to go broke in August and the latest highway authorization extension expires at the end of July. The program’s looming collapse puts 4,000 equipment dealership jobs at risk nationwide and jeopardizes more than $2.4 billion in equipment sales. As both a businessman and three-term governor of a state that received more than $500 million in federal highway funding in 2014, Romer drew on his industry experience and long record of public service to describe both the risks of inaction and economic opportunity if Congress stabilizes and increases infrastructure spending.

Speaking on behalf Associated Equipment Distributors, Romer said it was irrational for Congress to delay investing in the roads and bridges that hold the nation and its economy together. Romer highlighted the impact of the uncertainty surrounding the program, saying that it has become impossible for states to plan and harder for construction firms to invest in workers and equipment.

He also called all on lawmakers from both parties to work together to move a highway bill quickly through the legislative process. Addressing the gathered group of senators, Romer said, “I don’t view this as a Democratic or Republican issue. This is an issue on which America is asking you to show leadership to invest for the benefit of our families. We need this bill now.”

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