Don’t punt the Highway Trust Fund to next year, says AED

The Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) president and CEO Brian McGuire issued the following statement regarding pending House and Senate action on proposals to address the crisis facing the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The Congressional Budget Office has projected that without congressional action the HTF will run out money this summer and be unable to support any new obligation authority in fiscal year 2015, putting an entire year’s worth of highway and transit investment in jeopardy.

The uncertainty surrounding federal surface transportation programs and the Highway Trust Fund’s looming collapse are causing enormous consternation for construction equipment distributors and their customers. The $41 billion that the federal government invests each year supports more than $2.4 billion in equipment market activity and roughly 4,000 equipment distribution jobs across the United States. The HTF’s looming collapse puts those jobs in jeopardy, not to mention hundreds of thousands of others at construction companies, material suppliers, and manufacturers.

Our members are dismayed that lawmakers are again waiting until the last minute to act and driving the economy towards the edge of yet another cliff. Equipment distributors are tired of patches and budget gimmicks. Congress needs to act now to shore up the HTF through the end of the year and set the stage for definitive action on fiscally-responsible, long-term policy solutions this year. Punting the highway issue to next spring would land the ball right in the middle of the next debt ceiling fight, which would only add more complexity and uncertainty as another construction season is about to begin.

Who’s AED? It’s is an international trade association representing companies involved in the distribution, rental and support of equipment used in construction, mining, energy, forestry, power generation, agriculture, and industrial applications. More information is available at www.aednet.org.

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