Ranking Member Rahall’s Statement at Surface Transportation Reauthorization Roundtable
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE NICK J. RAHALL
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HIGHWAYS AND TRANSIT
ROUNDTABLE ON “SURFACE TRANSPORTATION REAUTHORIZATION:
FEBRUARY 26, 2014
Thank you, Chairman Shuster and Chairman Petri, for holding this roundtable.
Today we bring together business, labor, government, and transportation industry stakeholders – all in agreement about two things. We have an urgent transportation crisis on our hands, and Congress needs to work together to find solutions – fast.
These stakeholders are all united in this message because this bill is not just about extending specific Federal highway programs – its impact is far greater than that.
We are charting a path forward for economic prosperity, growth, and competitiveness. We are making a down payment on the safe and efficient movement of people and goods well into the future. And we are creating good paying, badly needed, American jobs – right here at home.
As we begin this reauthorization process, addressing the looming Highway Trust Fund cliff must be priority Number One. Today's announcement by the President, and by Chairman Camp, that they intend to use corporate tax reform as a means to partially finance a new highway bill gives this issue momentum. It elevates the pressing need to address the Trust Fund's deficiencies to a higher priority on the national scene.
While the trust fund crisis will be our priority, we should not lose focus on the importance of this bill for creating American jobs – not only by investing in rebuilding and improving our surface transportation infrastructure, but also by fostering domestic manufacturing capacity.
This bill must include provisions to strengthen the Buy America requirements to ensure that surface transportation infrastructure investments will be stamped “Made in America” and crafted with American workmanship. We have a responsibility to ensure that these investments, financed by U.S. taxpayers, will be used to create and sustain good-paying jobs in our local communities – not outsourced overseas.
Mr. Chairman, passing bipartisan surface transportation legislation is an investment in America. I look forward to working with you, and all of my colleagues on the Committee, to enact a strong highway and transit bill before MAP-21 expires.