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Andrew T. Gillies is Director of Communications at the Center for Audit Quality, an affiliate of the American Institute of CPAs, in Washington, DC. Based in Washington since 2002, he has also worked in editorial and communications roles at the Investment Company Institute, the World Bank, Forbes, and Vault.com. His policy-themed writing has focused on aerospace and defense, energy and environment, transportation, and financial services.

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