Coalition, including OOIDA, pushes for FAST Act extension
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association joined 87 other organizations to encourage Congress to extend the FAST Act for a year.
The current surface transportation law – 2015’s Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act – was set to expire Sept. 30. OOIDA and other organizations, such as the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sent a letter on Sept. 9 to congressional leaders. As of press time, no extension had been passed.
“Public agencies continue to face COVID-19 pandemic-induced revenue declines,” the letter stated. “As a result, state and local entities already delayed or canceled $8 billion in surface transportation projects, with more on the horizon absent any clear sign of support from the federal government. Failure to approve a one-year extension with increased funding for the purpose of stability would only exacerbate this dire situation.”
The groups urged Congress to pass legislation before Sept. 30 that includes:
- A one-year extension of the current surface transportation law with increased investment levels.
- Emergency federal funding of $37 billion for state departments of transportation and $32 billion for public agencies.
- Provisions to ensure solvency of the Highway Trust Fund for the duration of the extension at a minimum.
“Passing legislation that includes the aforementioned priorities would enable critical improvements that increase the safety and efficiency of the surface transportation system,” the letter stated. “This timely action by Congress would tangibly enhance the quality of life for all Americans and jump-start America’s economic recovery.” LL