2015-06-24 National Governors Association

Surface Transportation Reauthorization

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Harry Reid
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Senator Reid, Speaker Boehner and Representative Pelosi:

On behalf of the nation’s governors, we applaud the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for advancing a bipartisan six-year reauthorization of federal surface transportation programs. The looming insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and expiration of federal highway and transit laws and programs on July 31, 2015 creates uncertainty for states and threatens jobs across the country.

We hope the committee’s work encourages other congressional committees with jurisdiction to take action, creating momentum in Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization that resolves the HTF shortfall without delay.

Strengthening our nation’s infrastructure is vital for governors to advance economic growth and global competitiveness, create jobs and improve overall quality of life.  Federal HTF reimbursements to states cover the federal share of contracted work already completed. Delaying congressional action on a long-term reauthorization and allowing the HTF to become exhausted will not change the fact that states must pay those bills.

Governors stand ready to work with Congress to help pass a long-term reauthorization of federal surface transportation laws and programs. It is time to settle these issues and end the uncertainty.

Sincerely,

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
Chair, Economic Development and Commerce Committee

Governor Robert Bentley
Vice Chair, Economic Development and Commerce Committee