Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rough Road Ahead For Highway Bill

Washington, D.C. - As we've regularly reported on Forbes.com, the road building lobby in Washington makes a loud and skillful case that federal spending on highways--$41 billion for fiscal 2008--is inadequate and that the nation's infrastructure is facing a crisis.

This week, several hundred industry folks descended on Capitol Hill for their latest lobbying offensive.

"It's a severe situation," said David Bauer, senior vice president for government affairs at the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, Tuesday. "It's probably as severe as [any during] the 11 years that I've been at ARTBA."

Why so severe? One reason is the legislative outlook, as discussed by a panel of Democratic and Republican congressional staffers that ARTBA had summoned for a briefing Tuesday. The consensus among them: reauthorization of the nation's multi-year transportation spending law, enacted in 2005 with a $287 billion price tag, could prove much trickier than the last go round. A new administration and new environmental issues will complicate already contentious issues of funding America's infrastructure.

Full story at Forbes.com