U.S. Chamber, AFL-CIO Call for Long-Term Surface Transportation Bill

By Jason Plautz, February 17, 2011
From the New York Times

Business and labor leaders yesterday called for Congress to invest more in infrastructure, even saying that a higher gas tax could be in order to fund more investments in multimodal systems.

In a rare joint show of support, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue and American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations President Richard Trumka testified in favor of a new surface transportation bill.

“While there are many policy areas where we have sharp differences, we both realize that our country needs to step up our ‘Investment in America’ for business as well as working Americans to succeed,” Trumka told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

“There should be no further delay on a multiyear authorization of the federal highway and public transportation programs,” Donohue said. “Passage of a strong highway and public transportation authorization proposal with bipartisan support will help to set the table on which [Chamber members] and their employees conduct business.”

Both Trumka and Donohue also said it was important that Congress consider a bill that spread money out to transit and rail systems as well as roads, with Donohue saying it was “the only way you’re going to get enough votes in this Congress.”

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