Coalition Asks Congress to Repeal Rescission of $7.6B in Federal Highway Aid

A broad coalition of national associations—including the National Association of Counties (NACo) and National Governors Association (NGA)— is calling on congressional leaders to repeal the rescission of $7.6 billion in federal-aid highway contract authority scheduled to occur in July 2020. All 50 states and the District of Columbia would be impacted by the rescission.

A rescission is legislation enacted by Congress that cancels the availability of budget authority (e.g., contract authority) before that authority would otherwise expire.

The rescission of highway contract authority was part of the last significant highway-transit authorization measure, 2015’s Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST, Act. The $7.6-billion recission was added to the FAST Act to reduce its overall price tag.

The rescission will be calculated based on each state’s overall share of the unobligated balances of contract authority subject to the rescission as of September 30, 2019, relative to all states. This share will determine the proportional amount of the cut applied to each state.

If it stands, this revocation of funds will impact every state’s ability to plan, build, and repair needed roads and bridges that are vital to American communities.

According to a coalition letter:

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in our nation’s transportation infrastructure, request the rescission of $7.6 billion of contract authority be repealed as part of any future budget agreement.

Sincerely,

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

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

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