Letter from NGA and Other Organizations Regarding FAST Act Rescission of Highway Contract Authority

DATE:    May 20, 2019

TO:        The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader, United States Senate
The Honorable Charles E. Schumer, Minority Leader, United States Senate
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, United States House of Representatives
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader, United States House of Representatives

FROM:  31 Transportation Associations and Groups

SUBJECT: FAST Act Rescission of Highway Contract Authority

Dear Congressional Leaders:

As you begin discussions on a bicameral, bipartisan FY2020 budget agreement, we write to request that you include in any such agreement a repeal of the rescission of $7.6 billion in Federal-aid highway contract authority scheduled to occur in July of next year.

Section 1438 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act; P.L. 114-94) rescinds $7.6 billion in unobligated Federal-aid program contract authority on July 1, 2020. All 50 states and the District of Columbia will be impacted by the rescission, along with many other transportation stakeholders.  If the FAST Act rescission of $7.6 billion is allowed to execute, it will virtually wipe out all remaining contract authority available to states nationwide in the programs subject to the rescission. In addition, if allowed to take place, the rescission will significantly reduce the budget baseline for surface transportation programs beginning in Fiscal Year 2021.

It is important that Congress repeal this impending rescission now in order to provide stability to the federal surface transportation programs. Rescinding unobligated contract authority impedes the ability of states to meet their individual infrastructure needs and disrupts transportation planning and timely delivery of projects. The rescission will result in real cuts to transportation funding and cause delays in project construction at a time that both Congress and the Administration are looking to increase transportation investments.

Canceling the FAST Act rescission is necessary to ensure and enhance the benefits of our surface transportation programs including job creation, economic competitiveness, personal mobility, efficient movement of goods, and improved quality of life. The undersigned associations and organizations, representing a diverse group of national associations who support investment in our nation’s transportation infrastructure, request the rescission of $7.6 billion of contract authority be repealed as part of any future budget agreement.


31 Transportation Associations and Groups:

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

American Concrete Pipe Association

American Council of Engineering Companies

American Institute of Steel Construction

American Iron and Steel Institute

American Public Transportation Association

American Public Works Association

American Road and Transportation Builders Association

American Society of Civil Engineers

American Traffic Safety Services Association

Associated Equipment Distributors

Associated General Contractors

Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations

International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association

International Slurry Surfacing Association

International Union of Operating Engineers

Laborers International Union of North America

National Asphalt Pavement Association

National Association of Counties

National Association of Regional Councils

National Conference of State Legislatures

National Governors Association

National League of Cities

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association

National Utility Contractors Association

Portland Cement Association

United Brotherhood of Carpenters

The United States Conference of Mayors

U.S. Chamber of Commerce