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SOTU reaction: To build a 21st-century, ‘middle-class economy’, President and Congress must provide stable transportation funding

For immediate release 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to President Obama’s call for increased investment in infrastructure Transportation for America Director James Corless issued this statement:

“President Obama tonight explicitly made the connection between his themes of helping the middle class and helping cities, towns and suburbs invest in infrastructure. Communities across the country are struggling in the face of unstable resources to fix and expand roads, bridges and transit systems so that people can get to and keep their jobs and goods can get to market.

The President also made it clear he is aware that time is running out on our transportation trust fund, and that Congress must act soon to renew our commitment to first-world infrastructure. Amid concerns of political stalemate, this is one area where bipartisan action is possible and clearly needed.

We applaud his continued call for smart, new investment, and welcome a significant infusion from the repatriation of corporate profits. However, that is a one-time funding source, and the President missed the chance tonight to embrace a more stable approach such as an overdue increase in gas tax revenues. Nevertheless, we urge him and leaders in Congress to come together on a plan for long-term, stable funding well before the May 31 expiration. We would note that the last increases in the motor fuels tax came with the leadership of presidents Reagan and Clinton, both of whom faced challenges in Congress but managed to find a way forward.

Communities across the country are leading the way with innovative, cost-effective investment strategies, with projects designed to sustain economic growth while improving quality of life. Any economy intended to give more people an avenue to middle-class jobs will have to be built on strong investment in basic infrastructure. The President surely knows it, but now he and his congressional counterparts will need to lead like they know it.”


Contact: David Goldberg
Communications Director

Backup contact: Stephen Davis
Deputy Director of Communications
202-955-5543 x242