ARTBA and Building America’s Future respond to Obama’s State of the Union address

President Obama called for Congress to pass a “bipartisan infrastructure plan” during his Sate of the Union address on Tuesday night which has led to reaction from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), as well as Building America’s Future co-chairs Ray LaHood and Ed Rendell.

ARTBA President and CEO Pete Ruane released the following statement just minutes after Obama’s speech:

“Since the beginning of the year, Republican and Democratic congressional leaders in the House and Senate have frequently referred to a highway bill as one of their 2015 priorities. President Obama made similar statements in his State of the Union speech,” Ruane said. “Taken together, it leads us to wonder, ‘What are you waiting for?’”

“If the new Congress is serious about proving to the American people it can govern and if the President wants to accomplish something that has been on his agenda for years, then new investments in surface transportation are an area ripe for bipartisan consensus and action.”

“However, policy legacies won’t be earned with more short-term gimmicks and temporary patches of the Highway Trust Fund. It will require Congress and the President to enact a long-term revenue stream to ensure state governments have the reliable federal partner they need to make overdue improvements to America’s roads, bridges and transit systems.”

Both LaHood and Rendell liked what they heard during the President’s speech. They feel Obama is passionate about the country’s infrastructure, and understands the investment needed.

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“I am very pleased that President Obama emphasized the dire need for increased investment in America’s roads and bridges in this year’s State of the Union address,” said former Secretary of Transportation and Building America’s Future co-chair Ray LaHood. “America is one big pothole and we’re facing substandard roads and bridges that are structurally deficient from coast to coast. This country is facing an infrastructure crisis and we need to take action immediately.”

“President Obama and Vice President Biden’s leadership on this important issue has been greatly appreciated, and we look forward to seeing their new plan for bonding measures and public-private partnerships to take shape,” said former Pennsylvania Governor and Building America’s Future co-chair Ed Rendell. “Our country is desperate for progress, and an investment in our roads and bridges is a smart investment in creating good paying middle class jobs– something I know the president cares about deeply.”

As stated several times over the past few weeks, the pressure is clearly on Congress to come up with a long-term infrastructure plan.