NAM COMMENDS SENATE FOR RESTORING $8 BILLION TO HIGHWAY TRUST FUND
Swift Action by Senate Will Help Avert Crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 11, 2008 - National Association of Manufacturers President John Engler issued the following comment commending the Senate for its vote in support of an $8 billion transfer from the General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund, a measure that will help avert a near immediate $14 billion cut in highway spending. Engler also expressed appreciation for the bipartisan consensus reached by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senators Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) to move H.R. 6532 forward:
Last night, the Senate passed legislation to prevent a cut in highway spending that would have had the potential to have a devastating impact on the competitiveness of America's manufacturers. The Highway Trust Fund, which receives most of its funding from the federal tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, is facing its first deficit in more than 25 years as Americans reduce their driving at least partially in response to soaring gas prices. It is expected that the House of Representatives will take up the measure today and I urge its immediate passage.
The NAM strongly supported this effort to return the Highway Trust Fund to a state of solvency. Restoring funds to this critical funding mechanism to ensure continued financial support for our nation's transportation infrastructure and I am pleased with the bipartisan support this effort received from lawmakers.
Due to the financial state of the Highway Trust Fund and a sooner than anticipated shortfall, the threat of a slowdown or stoppage on road construction projects that maintain and improve our nation's highways and roadways was real and should serve as wake-up call to everyone who benefits from a highway construction project - from the traveling public to manufacturers and businesses.
The ability to hold down transportation and logistics costs is critical to maintaining our international competitiveness. Every dollar of wasted fuel idling in congestion brought on by inadequate investment in infrastructure increases the costs of our goods and gives our international competitors an unnecessary advantage.
Again, I urge the House of Representatives to act quickly on this critically important measure.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's award-winning web site at www.nam.org
for more information about manufacturing and the economy.
CONTACT: HANK COX