Thursday, 4 September 2008« We Need an Infrastructure Superman | Main | Stuck in Traffic? Looks Like You’ll Stay That Way. »
September is here, students are returning to school, it’s still pretty hot and humid here in Washington, and we’re all coming out of our summer laziness. Let’s hope Congress feels the same way. After the Republican Convention is over this week, Congress will return to Washington for one last month of work before they head home to campaign.
There are lots of things on their agenda and it’s looking everyday like some things might not get done. All signs point to a big fight over energy and the economy as both sides try to shore up last minute support before the election.
While the politicians tackle these rightfully important issues, ASCE will also be working to remind them that there is still a lot of work to do on infrastructure issues. The Infrastructure Action Plan has seen a good bit of action – successes include the Water Resources Development Act and annual appropriations for surface transportation – but there are still many boxes to check on the score card.
Among the most pressing are the Highway Trust Fund Fix, the Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act, and Fiscal Year 2009 appropriations for ASCE priority issues. The House has already passed the Trust Fund Fix and the Dam Rehab bill, but the Senate still needs to act to ensure that states get their authorized surface transportation dollars and the nation’s 3,330 deficient dams get the remediation funds they need. Due to partisan bickering and a veto threat from the White House, the appropriations process this year has all but stopped. If the Congress is going to pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the government through January when a new President takes office as they have indicated, they must ensure infrastructure programs get the funding they are guaranteed.
These are all short term solutions to a larger problem. The nation’s infrastructure is crumbling beneath our feet and we need compelling national leadership and a comprehensive plan to rebuild our infrastructure so that it meets current and future needs. In the meantime, we should all pitch in to make sure these vital actions are taken. To read more about these issues or contact your members of Congress, visit ASCE’s advocacy website.