ATA supports highway bill framework

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The American Trucking Associations on Wednesday, Nov. 9, praised the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s work on a bipartisan highway bill.

“As the representative of an industry that depends on a safe and efficient highway system, ATA is pleased that Sens. Boxer, Inhofe, Baucus and Vitter and their staffs have put together a substantive and innovative plan to address our nation’s critical need to improve our infrastructure,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “By consolidating the myriad of federal programs into just a handful of major initiatives, including one dedicated solely to the movement of freight, this draft ensures that federal dollars will be spent more wisely.”

Graves said that in addition to a freight-specific program, ATA is pleased that the committee’s proposal includes a provision to provide more truck parking through the enactment of Jason’s Law.

“We are also especially appreciative, in a time of fiscal restraint, the committee has shown the wisdom to steer clear of the siren song of tolling to finance these needed changes,” he said. “By preserving the current restrictions on tolling our interstate system, the committee is ensuring that users of our highways continue to be taxed fairly and efficiently for that use.”

Graves said that while, as with any large piece of legislation, there are a number of parts of the bill that concern ATA, “we hope they can be addressed as the process moves forward.”