Washington, D.C. —The following is a statement from Patrick Natale, P.E., Executive Director of The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on the passage of H.R. 5021 in the U.S. House of Representatives:
“Today, the U.S. House of Representatives averted an immediate economic disaster by addressing the impending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund. Regrettably, their efforts also created a new, looming disaster next May. Punting on America’s infrastructure deficit will not fix the problem, and in fact will only create greater economic uncertainty. Congress needs to get serious about America’s future rather than creating more unnecessary turmoil.
“America’s businesses, laborers, engineers, and manufacturers have been urging Congress for well over a year to find a long-term, sustainable solution to our country’s surface transportation issues. States and cities cannot plan for the future if funding is only going to be approved on a crisis by crisis basis. Imagine the challenges of building your home if you were unaware of where your money was coming from or when you could use it—that is the current case for America’s infrastructure.
“The band-aid put on the Highway Trust Fund today ensures that we must limp along rather than take proactive steps to create a solid economic foundation. By maintaining current funding, we are solidifying funding levels that have given the U.S. an infrastructure grade of D+ in ASCE’s Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Does Congress not think America deserves better than a barely passing grade?
“This moment is the best opportunity in a generation to solve America’s infrastructure deficit. Now is the time for a renewed investment in our nation’s infrastructure. We need bipartisan leadership from Congress and the White House to pass a long-term, reliable funding solution that will give states and cities the ability to plan for the future.”
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 145,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.