House approves short-term extensions

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This afternoon the House of Representatives passed legislation which will extend Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and surface transportation programs at current funding levels while Congress continues to work on long-term reauthorizations. The legislation is titled, “Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011” (H.R. 2887) and will extend the current FAA authorization until January 31st, 2012 and highway, transit, and highway safety programs until March 31st, 2012. The Senate is expected to approve the bill shortly.

Following the House vote, ASCE President Elect Andrew Herrmann, P.E., SECB, F.ASCE, released the following statement,

“The American Society of Civil Engineers applauds Congress for advancing legislation to fund the nation’s roads, airports, and public transportation systems.

Extending the surface transportation and aviation programs at current funding levels ensures that over 1.8 million jobs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be protected in the near term. This clean extension gives Congress the opportunity to begin the real work of passing a crucial longer-term bill.

While we are heartened by the bipartisan support for this law, an extension at current funding levels represents the bare minimum of what must be done to address our nation’s crumbling transportation infrastructure.

America’s transportation system is the very backbone of our economy. If current funding levels are maintained long term – or if funding levels are cut – America can expect to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic growth over the next 10 years. To ensure a prosperous and competitive economic future, ASCE urges Congress to increase long-term investment in the country’s deteriorating infrastructure.”

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