AAA, the United States Chamber of Commerce and other organizations, on behalf of trucking companies, heavy machinery manufacturers and freight forwarders, recently sent an important letter to Congress.
In the letter, the signed organizations and business leaders urged Congress to do something bold in regards to the trucking situation in the US. The organizations asked Congress to renew their obligations and responsibilities for ensuring vibrant interstate commerce. In short, they demanded that Congress provide long-term interstate highway funding.
The current highway funding from the Federal Government expires in May, when a new highway-funding bill needs to be passed. There is just one major roadblock that is preventing the sufficient funding of the highways – the Transportation Empowerment Act. This bill, sponsored by Congressional Republicans, would replace the current highway funding responsibilities and eliminate funding at astronomical levels. By 2018, 80% of federal highway funding would be eliminated. The publishers of the letter greatly feel that this type of funding cut would devastate interstate commerce. And an 80% funding decrease would be insufficient for interstate highway improvements. To make up for the loss in highway funding from the Federal Government, the states would have to make up the cost by themselves after 2018. The states could accomplish this by raising the gas tax or eliminating other programs.
Businesses that ship freight by truck depend on interstate highways to make their business grow. If Congress turns their back on this, then the economical consequences could be devastating. It would be best to avoid this by ensuring proper highway funding.