With federal highway and transit funding set to expire in just 16 days, the NAM drew attention to the crisis as a leading organizer of Infrastructure Week, May 11–15. This nationwide initiative is motivating lawmakers to act and galvanizing support for the 21st-century infrastructure that manufacturers and all Americans need to compete globally.
NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons helped kick off Infrastructure Week at a Bloomberg event on May 11 with Vice President Joe Biden; Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx; Siemens USA President and CEO Eric Spiegel; Schnitzer Steel Industries President and CEO and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chair Tamara Lundgren; AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D).
Our collective call for a well-funded, multiyear surface transportation authorization was widely reported by the media, including Politico, which quoted Timmons: “Twenty days. That is all that separates us from a highway shutdown unless Congress extends federal highway and other transit programs funding. Yes, Congress will likely come up with a temporary patchwork again. But we must insist on more.”
Later in the week, Timmons pressed for action to renew and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure at a press conference on Capitol Hill with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker (D), Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait (R), Laborers’ International Union of North America General President Terry O’Sullivan and former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
“While other nations continue to invest in infrastructure, as the NAM’s “Catching Up” report detailed, the United States is stuck in a decade-long period of decline in overall infrastructure capital spending that seriously endangers the livelihoods of all Americans, our future productivity and our ability to compete head-to-head with companies all over the globe,” Timmons told reporters. “From 2003 to 2012, capital spending on infrastructure has decreased by 10.5 percent in real dollars.”
The NAM will continue to mobilize support for a long-term transportation fix and sound investments in America’s infrastructure.