AEM: Highway bill extension ‘falls short of nation’s long-term needs’

Congress passed a short-term extension to SAFETEA-LU, the expired surface transportation bill, on March 4, but Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater says that the necessary extension hasn’t solved what the nation needs in the long term.

Following the bill’s passage, Slater issued the following statement in response to Congress passing an extension of the nation’s highway and transit programs through Sept. 30, 2011:

“With Congress passing yet another short-term extension of the Highway bill to keep the program running through September, it is critical that they now move to serious action on a comprehensive, long-term bill,” Slater said.

“America’s urgent need to rebuild roads, highways and bridges requires a long-term strategy; we can’t afford any more delays,” he continued. “Congress needs to show serious bipartisan leadership and action to address this critical national priority, so that a six-year bill can be enacted within this extension period. If the President wants manufacturers to put people to work jumpstart the economy, he will insist on a six-year Highway bill to build safer roads and bridges, and work with the Congress to find a way to get it done. America’s equipment manufacturers stand ready to help them succeed.”