Contact: Patrick Dunne, 703-216-6923, pdunne@nssga.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14, 2019 – Today, members of Congress and the Highway Materials Group held a press conference on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol that focused on the impact of a strong federal investment in our nation’s infrastructure.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), chairman of the Ways & Means Committee’s Tax Policy Subcommittee, and Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), ranking member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Highway & Transit Subcommittee, joined with members from construction materials industries and companies to highlight the need for #InfrastructureNow!  Below are quotes from today’s press conference.

Congressman Blumenauer

“Every day we don’t act to improve our nation’s infrastructure, we fall further behind our global competitors,” said Blumenauer. “It is past time that we step up and demonstrate the courage necessary to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill. I look forward to working with the Highway Materials Group and vast array of supporters in finally delivering for the American people.”

Congressman Davis

“Since 2003, federal spending on infrastructure has decreased by 20% when adjusted for inflation,” said Davis. “We need major investment in our infrastructure if our economy is going to continue to thrive. I’m encouraged by the interest of both parties to get something done on infrastructure this Congress, but we have to figure out a way to pay for it. I believe it is long past time to consider ways to diversify funding streams for transportation projects and it’s the only way to guarantee long-term sustainability. I’m looking forward to continuing these conversations throughout Infrastructure Week and as we work to get a bill done.”

Bob Weldon
President of Weldon Materials, Inc., and Chairman of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

“Almost 40 percent of the bridges in this nation are so old, they would qualify for AARP membership. Our nation is facing a backlog of more than $800 billion in highway and bridge capital needs. Our organizations, and the men and women we represent, are urging Congress to focus on funding meaningful infrastructure investment.”

Steve Berglund
President and CEO of Trimble and Chairman of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Construction Sector Board

“I am glad to stand beside members of Congress and our coalition partners to advocate for modern infrastructure that is adequately funded, connected and safe. The equipment manufacturing industry’s economic footprint supports 1.3 million jobs in the United States, and our infrastructure network is essential to ensuring that we can continue to support these jobs. We stand together, committed to identifying a bipartisan path forward in modernizing our infrastructure system and call on others to join us.”

Roger Wentz
President and CEO of the American Traffic Safety Services Association

“We’re asking people to pay just a few cents more for safer infrastructure and to ensure that each family member in each community comes home safely every day. Investing in America’s safety infrastructure is good economics, good politics and, most importantly, good for the American public and saves lives. We have the ability and knowledge to do it – we need Congress to give our country the means.”

John Harper
Senior Vice President of Construction Partners, Inc., and Chairman of the National Asphalt Pavement Association

“Infrastructure is a shared responsibility. The states are doing their part, but it’s time for the federal government to follow suit with this type of legislation. We need to make the commitment to ensure the roads that connect every corner of our nation are well maintained and able to handle the needs of today and the future.”

Michael Vazquez
Vice President of MECO MIAMI, Inc., and Associated Equipment Distributors Vice President of Membership

“Every day I personally deal with the negative consequences of the nation’s insignificant infrastructure, those of you who live in Miami understand and know exactly what I’m talking about. I sit in traffic for hours on end, whether driving to the office or taking my kids to school. Our failure to invest impacts everyone’s quality of life, the competitiveness of our businesses and the safety and security of our country.”

Bill Sandbrook
President and CEO of U.S. Concrete and Chairman of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

“We call this Infrastructure Week, but this week really isn’t about infrastructure projects at all… We are here this week to talk about and demand leadership. Leadership from the President, who is a builder and a deal maker. Leadership from the House and Senate, who’s constituents are fed up with finger pointing and gridlock, ever increasing congestion and crumbling roads, bridges, highways and airports. The Trump administration and Congress have an opportunity to do something historic as the bipartisan infrastructure finding deal that President Reagan struck with Congress in 1982. It’s where leadership is required.”

Michael Ireland
CEO of the Portland Cement Association

“Now is the time for the President and Congress to work together in a bipartisan manner to increase the gas tax, which is the most efficient means in the short term to pay for the needed improvements to the nation’s highway and transit systems. The Portland Cement Association looks forward to working with members of congress on bipartisan legislation to make much needed significant investment in our nation’s infrastructure across the country.”

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The Highway Materials Group is comprised of 11 national associations, representing companies that provide the construction materials and equipment essential to building America’s roads, highways and bridges. We employ tens of thousands of men and women in well-paying American jobs, and we strongly support increased investment in America’s surface transportation network.  Members include:  American Coal Ash Association; America Concrete Pavement Association; American Traffic Safety Services Association; Associated Equipment Distributors; Association of Equipment Manufacturers; Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute; National Asphalt Pavement Association; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association; Portland Cement Association; and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.

The Highway Materials Group supports committee efforts to update the funding options available to airports to ensure that U.S. airports have the resources they need to modernize their infrastructure; improve the passenger experience; and continue to put passenger safety first. Specifically, our coalition urges the committee to consider legislation that eliminates the cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) and protect other funding mechanisms like the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

Highway Materials Group Statement for the Record on Airport Infrastructure