September 22, 2011

CEOs: Congress Must Pass Robust Transportation Bill to Rebuild America

Washington, D.C. – With nearly 150,000 deficient American bridges that are crippling our Nation’s economic competitiveness from coast to coast, CEOs of 20 major U.S. corporations called on Congress to pass a robust multi-year surface transportation bill to create jobs and rebuild America.  U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today released the following statement in response to the letter from the CEOs to Congressional Leadership:

“Businesses across the country lose billions of dollars each year because of our Nation’s outdated and decaying transportation networks, yet House Republicans are proposing to shortchange by one-third investments in transportation that create jobs and grow our economy.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business leaders from industries across the spectrum know that we can put people to work today rebuilding America while growing our economy over the long-term if Congress passes a strong multi-year surface transportation bill that adequately invests in America’s future.

“Ideological assaults on the parts of our budget that grow our economy are short-sighted and will have long-term impacts on our economic recovery.  Corporations, consumers, construction crews, and most of my colleagues in Congress all manage to see that America can emerge from this recession stronger than ever before by continuing to make robust investments in our future.  America’s roadways, runways, and railways are not partisan priorities and should not be subject to the political posturing that is dominating the debate in Washington.  Republicans have turned their accountant’s visors into economic blinders but all Americans would better be served if they put partisan politics aside so we can work together to do the right thing for the economy.

“Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to work together to put America back to work rebuilding a surface transportation network that meets the needs of the 21st century economy.”

Key excerpts of the letter from the CEOs to Congressional Leadership:

“We operate and compete in a global economy.  Enhancing the capacity of all modes of surface transportation infrastructure is essential to keep pace with our global competitors who are making major new investments in their own transportation systems.”

“…passage of a well funded, multiyear reauthorization of the federal highway and public transportation programs would provide some needed stability in an uncertain business environment, and should be a key element of a pro-growth agenda. 

“Our economy has long been the envy of the world.  But our transportation infrastructure has become inadequate to meet the needs of the 21st century economy.”

“We must prioritize and invest in our aging infrastructure now if we are to maintain our economic competitiveness and leadership in the global economy.”

The letter was signed by the CEOs of the following corporations: Arch Coal; Archer Daniels Midland; BNSF Railway Co.; Caterpillar Inc.; Con-way; Corning Incorporated; Cummins Inc.; Deere & Company; Dow Chemical Co.; Granite Construction; Honeywell; Kiewit Corporation; Martin Marietta; Norfolk Southern Corp.; Oldcastle Materials Inc.; Peabody Energy; Trimble Navigation Ltd.; UPS; Vermeer; and Vulcan Materials Co.