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Open letter to the House of Representatives regarding IIJA

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner posted an open letter to the House of Representatives today urging them to vote yes on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Tetschner noted that the nation’s infrastructure is “in dire need of significant rebuilding” and that now is “not the time to delay passing the most comprehensive and historic investment in our infrastructure and safety since the 1950s.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that the House would vote on the IIJA on Thursday but debates were continuing today.

Legislation introduced to find alternative Highway Trust Fund revenues

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Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) has introduced H.R.383, the Road User Charge Advancement Act of 2021, legislation that would build on the Surface Transportation Systems Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The bill was originally introduced during the last Congress and included in the Moving Forward Act. If it secures passage this Congress, it would nearly double current funding to $35 million annually for STSFA.

The STSFA program incentivizes states to find alternative funding solutions for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), as a reliance on revenues from the current gas tax becomes a less feasible method of keeping the HTF solvent. The federal gas tax has lost nearly 71% of its purchasing power since its most recent rate increase in 1993 due to inflation and the increase in fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles.  Failure to develop new sources of revenue could see the HTF experience a $190 billion shortfall in the next decade.

Highway bill extension included in House continuing resolution today

One-year extension part of House of Representatives proposal to avoid shutdown

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Democrats in the House of Representatives today proposed a Continuing Resolution that includes a one-year extension of the current federal highway bill.

The resolution is aimed at avoiding a federal government shutdown but included the highway bill, which is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30. The federal government shutdown could come in nine days without action. The proposal would fund the government through Dec. 11.

If approved, the resolution would ensure that current transportation programs would not lapse on their expiration date of Oct. 1.