AASHTO to President Obama: ‘State DOTs are Ready to work now’

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) supports President Barack Obama’s message to Congress in his address on Sept. 8 that calls for a $50 billion investment in transportation infrastructure to boost the nation’s struggling economy.

AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley said that states, counties, and cities demonstrated the last time Congress targeted extra funding for transportation – $48 billion in the 2009 economic recovery act – that transportation infrastructure can quickly create jobs in every corner of the country.

“We hope that the president, Senate, and House can reach bipartisan agreement on how to create jobs through an increase in transportation investment,” Horsley said in a written press statement. “We applaud the President for his proposal to immediately boost transportation investment and we are thrilled that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved a bipartisan bill yesterday [Sept. 8] to extend highway and transit programs at current levels of funding. In contrast, the House Transportation Appropriations subcommittee passed a proposal yesterday that would reduce transportation investment by 34 percent, which would eliminate more than 600,000 jobs.

“In our view, the next step is for Congress to agree to extend the current surface transportation program at current funding levels,” Horsley continued. “Then, we hope to work with the president and Congress to craft a long-term reauthorization of the surface transportation program with investment levels that will support ongoing American job growth and a recovering economy.”