The AFL-CIO urges you to support the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” or the “FAST Act” (H.R. 22) reported out of conference this week.
This five-year reauthorization bill is a significant milestone and long overdue. The legislation is the result of a genuine bipartisan effort from Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. Its enactment will allow our nation finally to move forward with critically needed improvements to our nation’s surface transportation system.
As the AFL-CIO, our affiliate unions, and other stakeholders recommended, the reauthorization provided for in H.R. 22 increases funding levels above current baselines, helping to narrow the current gap between infrastructure needs and available funding, while also providing much-needed certainty to state and local governments for multi-year project planning.
We are pleased to see the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization included in the conference report given its broad bipartisan support. We would have liked the reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Heath and Compensation Act to have been included as well; we strongly urge Congress to pass it before the end of the year.
There is no doubt that the FAST Act’s long-term reauthorization will be good for our country – creating good jobs, stimulating the economy, improving both the nation’s competitiveness and our quality of life. The AFL-CIO urges its swift passage.
William Samuel, Director
Government Affairs Department