Washington – Today, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear urged Congress to take steps to exercise oversight over the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, ensuring that taxpayers and the supply chain get the maximum return on the $1.2 trillion of investment the legislation provides.
“For 90 years, the ATA has helped Congress shape its understanding of our nation’s infrastructure needs and supply chain challenges and today’s oversight of both is welcome and timely,” Spear said. “Prior to IIJA’s passage, ATA testified 25 times before the House and Senate, sharing how the decaying state of our nation’s infrastructure is hamstringing America’s ability to compete with rising global powers, like China. In short, a first-world economy cannot survive a developing-world infrastructure.”
ATA strongly supported IIJA’s passage, but “it was not a perfect piece of legislation – no bill is,” Spear said in testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, urging the committee to exercise its oversight authority to ensure “that every dollar be spent wisely and in accordance with what Congress instructed.”
Specifically, Spear said ATA objects to the Federal Highway Administration’s decision to direct IIJA funds only to existing roads and bridges, not new construction, arguing that it runs counter to what Congress intended and “does nothing to address congestion, improve safety and reduce emissions.”
Spear also urged Congress to remain engaged on efforts to reduce emissions in the supply chain.
“This is not a matter of if we get to zero, but when. We’ll get there – just not on the timelines proposed by California. Their rush to zero makes their timeline and targets unachievable, and they will fail,” he said. “Again, we’re committed to a cleaner environment – we’ve proven that. We simply ask that we be realistic about the path forward.”
With achievable goals, and appropriate oversight, “we’ll have the best infrastructure and the strongest, most sustainable economy, like no other,” Spear said.
Spear’s full testimony can be read here.