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Mon February 11, 2013 - Northeast Edition
Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co. Inc., the authorized Caterpillar distributor for 58 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, played host Jan. 30 to Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.). Shuster was recently named chairman of the House of Representatives’ Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal surface transportation, water, and other infrastructure programs.
During the visit, Shuster met with Cleveland Brothers employees and toured the company’s Harrisburg facility, which provides equipment sales, rental, leasing, and product support services to construction contractors and other Pennsylvania businesses.
Cleveland Brothers executives and AED senior staff briefed Shuster on the impact of federal highway spending and energy development on the equipment industry. Shuster also received the first copy of a new AED sponsored study by researchers at the College of William & Mary that reinforces the need for Congress to find new user fee revenues to put the federal Highway Trust Fund back on solid footing.
“Highway and water infrastructure bills are among the major issues pending before Chairman Shuster’s committee,” Cleveland Brothers President Jay Cleveland said. “We’re pleased to have had the opportunity to give him a first-hand look at how federal investment in these areas creates jobs in our local community and lays a solid foundation for our state’s long-term economic growth.”
AED estimates that the roughly $1.5 billion that Pennsylvania receives from the federal government for road building each year supports more than $96 million worth of local construction equipment market activity and 3,000 jobs in Pennsylvania’s equipment industry.
However, federal infrastructure programs have been in a state of crisis in recent years. Congress has slashed funding for drinking water and sewer programs lately and gas tax revenues to the Highway Trust Fund are inadequate to support current investment levels.
“Chairman Shuster has a great track record on transportation issues,” Cleveland said. “He’s taken on a tough job, but an important one. We’re looking forward to working with him in the months and years ahead to put federal infrastructure programs back on solid fiscal footing.”
Facility visits like Shuster’s to Cleveland Brothers are an excellent way to educate members of Congress and raise the equipment industry’s political visibility. AED’s Washington team stands ready to work with members anywhere in the country to help organize similar events.
For more information, please contact AED Senior Director of Government Affairs Daniel Fisher.
This article is reprinted with permission from the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED).