Government Affairs

ACPA and Transportation Allies Urge Prompt, Bipartisan Support of Highway Investment

ACPA and the other 30 member organizations comprising the Transportation Construction Coalition* last week sent another letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), urging their support of H.R. 2, The Moving Forward Act as a necessary step toward reauthorizing federal surface transportation programs before the expiration of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act on Sept. 30.

“The legislation’s unparalleled highway and public transportation investment would allow for significant improvements to the nation’s surface transportation system,” the TCC allies wrote. “The bill’s five-year duration and temporary Highway Trust Fund solvency solution would also offer needed certainty to states and the transportation construction industry during the current economic crisis.”

The TCC organizations emphasized the importance of bipartisan, bicameral compromise, as infrastructure investment has enjoyed a long tradition of such bipartisan support. They also reminded the leaders that the clock is ticking. As of last Wednesday, there were only 90 days until the expiration of the FAST Act. Click here to see the letter.

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*The Transportation Construction Coalition is a partnership of 31 national associations and construction unions representing hundreds of thousands of individuals with a direct market interest in federal transportation programs. TCC is comprised of the American Coal Ash Association; American Concrete Pavement Association; American Concrete Pipe Association; American Iron & Steel Institute; American Road & Transportation Builders Association; American Society of Civil Engineers; American Subcontractors Association; American Traffic Safety Services Association; Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association; Asphalt Recycling and Reclaiming Association; Associated Equipment Distributors; Associated General Contractors of America; American Council of Engineering Companies; Association of Equipment Manufacturers; Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute; International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron; International Slurry Surfacing Association; International Union of Operating Engineers; Laborers’ International Union of North America; Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust; National Asphalt Pavement Association; National Association of Surety Bond Producers; National Electrical Contractors Association; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; National Steel Bridge Alliance; National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association; National Utility Contractors Association; Portland Cement Association; Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute; The Road Information Program; and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America.

Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

AASHTO Recasts Committee on Materials & Pavements Meeting

AASHTO announced recently that it has canceled the in-person 2020 Committee on Materials & Pavement (COMP) Meeting scheduled for this summer in favor of a virtual meeting to be held over a two-week time frame.

To accommodate the needs of this committee, the virtual sessions will be held over the two weeks spanning from July 27th through August 7th.

AASHTO planned the original meeting to be held August 2 through 6 in Miami, FL, but cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for canceling the conference. Click here for more information, including registration for the web-based meeting.

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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

House Approval of HR2 Vote Likely

The House is expected to vote later today on the Moving Forward Act, H.R. 2, the $1.5 trillion bill, which includes the transportation reauthorization package previously titled The INVEST in America Act. The relatively smooth floor process saw 79 amendments adopted as of last night, with no significant changes to the $1.5 trillion measure.

Click here to see the House Rules Committee summary of amendments proposed for adoption.

The White House is threatening to veto the package, according to a statement of administration policy released Monday.

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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

ACPA and NACA Partners Urge Support of HR 2

ACPA and other members of NACA* sent a letter yesterday urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to pass bipartisan legislation that continues to support robust investment in infrastructure with a sustainable long-term funding mechanism for the Highway Trust Fund.

The organizations expressed their encouragement for the robust funding levels provided in the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2) currently being debated in the House, including $500 billion for The INVEST in America Act. NACA is also encouraged by the bill’s focus on expanding infrastructure financing options.

The groups also expressed support for a number of provisions within the Moving Forward Act.  Specific provisions of interest to the concrete pavement industry include:

  • Increasing the authorization for the Airport Improvement Program to $4 billion for fiscal years 2021-2025 and expanding AIP eligibilities to include projects to improve airport resiliency to natural disasters.
  • Requiring states to spend 20 percent of their NHPP and Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBGP) dollars on bridge repair and rehabilitation projects, amounting to $28 billion between FY 2022-2025
  • Providing more than $9 billion for projects of national significance – large highway, transit, and freight projects – that cannot be funded through annual apportionments or other discretionary sources.
  • Providing $10 billion to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction account to address the backlog of authorized water resources development projects and $5 billion in operation and maintenance funding for backlogged Corps projects.
  • Improving resiliency by authorizing a new grant program for wastewater utilities to assess and address future risks associated with manmade and natural disasters, extreme weather events, and sea-level rise.
  • Reestablishing the Build America Bond Program to provide direct financing support for infrastructure investments made by state and local governments.
  • Increasing the annual state volume cap on private activity bonds and increasing the limitation on the use of qualified highway or surface transportation facility bonds.

Click here to see the letter, including the provisions noted above.

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* The North American Concrete Alliance is a coalition of 12 concrete-related associations formed in 2004 for the purpose of addressing industry-wide concerns & initiatives in the areas of research, safety, education, and government affairs. The coalition is comprised of the American Concrete Pavement Association, American Concrete Pipe Association, American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association, American Concrete Pumping Association, Concrete Foundations Association, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Concrete Masonry Association, National Precast Concrete Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Portland Cement Association, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, and Tilt-Up Concrete Association.

Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

ACPA and National Association of Manufacturers Join Forces on Infrastructure Investment

ACPA joined with an ad hoc coalition of organizations led by the National Association of Manufacturers in sending a message to House and Senate leaders to urge them to “advance a bold, long-term infrastructure bill to address our nation’s longstanding infrastructure needs and to provide much needed stability and certainty for our sector during this critical time.”

This was a unique opportunity to join with NAM to send a powerful message to Leaders, and one which is well aligned with ACPA and other transportation partners’ efforts to inform and persuade Congress to address the critical needs of the Nation’s surface transportation infrastructure.

The letter continues with an appeal to “come together in a bipartisan manner to provide historic investment and pass a surface transportation reauthorization ahead of the September 30, 2020, deadline.”

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers in America have continued operating while doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of millions of employees, their families and their communities,” the letter continues. “Transportation and logistics partners across the manufacturing supply chain went into overdrive to provide our sector with the capabilities to meet the immediate challenges posed by COVID-19. These partners enabled industry’s efforts to increase production, retool supply chains and adapt to quickly evolving circumstances to get critical supplies to the parts of the country that needed them most. Manufacturers’ ongoing response efforts depend on our nation’s infrastructure system and taking action now to invest in and modernize our infrastructure can advance the next steps of recovery and renewal.”

“Congressional action is necessary to address the revenue shortfalls facing state transportation departments due to unexpected decreases in road travel,” the letter says. “Forward-looking, long-term investments in all kinds of infrastructure are needed to renew and expand our economy, grow jobs and compete globally. Acting now to invest in our nation’s infrastructure will avoid interruption to ongoing projects and empower state officials and the private sector to proceed with planning new, bold infrastructure projects across the country.” Click here to read the complete letter.

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Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

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