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Concern About Jobs May Revive Transportation Funding Bill

December 4, 2009

Continuing concerns about jobs may revive Washington’s interest in moving forward with a new federal transportation funding bill sooner than anticipated, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration may be rethinking its stance on addressing transportation funding as the unemployment rate remains at double-digits.  The administration had proposed to delay considering a new funding measure for 18 months, in order to first address health care reform and then carbon emissions. (go here to view the WSJ article)

However, President Obama hosted an event at the White House to discuss ideas for creating jobs, then traveled to Allentown to address that same subject.  There to greet him was a letter to the editor in the Morning Call from Thomas Gibson, CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (go here for the full column), noting that one of the best ways to put his members’ employees back to work is to take quick action to reauthorize the six-year surface transportation bill.

“There is broad consensus that our transportation infrastructure needs to be improved, and that construction projects create and sustain jobs across many industries,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner.  “If creating jobs is at the top of the nation’s agenda, then it makes sense to begin by reauthorizing the federal transportation funding measure as soon as possible.”

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