The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in response to the release July 7 by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee of proposed surface transportation legislation:
“Chairman Mica is to be commended for what he proposes in the multi-year transportation reauthorization proposal called ’A New Direction.’ His bill would consolidate duplicative programs, streamline projects and provide states with needed flexibility to address their transportation priorities. Indeed, AGC called for many of these reforms in its ’Case for Infrastructure and Reform’ proposal. These reforms will go a long way in helping restore Americans’ confidence in the federal transportation program and their willingness to pay for using what remains the world’s most efficient transportation network.
“It is, however, disappointing that the committee does not address the revenue shortfall that threatens to undermine the long-term viability of our transportation system. Economic growth will be hampered and our infrastructure deficit will continue to grow should the significant maintenance and repair cuts outlined in this bill be enacted. Neglecting our infrastructure — instead of addressing out of control entitlement spending — will only force taxpayers to pay more later since it is more expensive to fix broken infrastructure than it is to properly maintain it.
“As we are at the beginning of a process, we will continue to aggressively make the case that there is a difference between wasteful government spending and desperately needed investments that boost economic activity and support private-sector commerce. We remain hopeful that the bicameral, bipartisan support that these programs have traditionally enjoyed will coalesce into a package that is both fiscally responsible and responsive to our very significant transportation needs.”