Mayor Hodges Urges U.S. House to Stop Kicking Transportation Bill Down the Road
House Should Take Up U.S. Senate Bill When They Return From Recess
July 29, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS)—Today Mayor Betsy Hodges called on the U.S. House to follow the U.S. Senate’s lead and pass a long-term transportation bill when they return from August recess.  Yesterday the House passed a three month extension of the bill, which the Senate subsequently passed today before the reauthorization expired on July 31st.
This is the 35th short-term extensions of the federal transportation bill Congress has passed since 2009.
“Kicking the can down the road places the burden of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure squarely on the shoulders of states and local governments, like Minneapolis,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Short-term transportation authorizations create uncertainty and increase risk, cost cities’ jobs, and increase project costs. I urge the U.S. House to follow the Senate’s lead and pass a long-term transportation bill when they return from August recess.”
Last week the Mayor joined a bipartisan group of 104 mayors that called on Congressional leadership to pass a long-term transportation bill with increased funding.
In the letter the Mayors noted that current federal commitments are insufficient to maintain, much less enhance, our nation’s transportation network.
Along with Mayor Hodges, the group of mayors, includes New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

The full text of the mayors’ letter is below: 
Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, and Minority Leader Pelosi:
As mayors from all corners of the nation, we urge you to significantly increase transit, highway and safety program commitments to cities and their regions, and provide six years of funding certainty in the MAP-21 surface transportation reauthorization.  America’s economic strength depends upon our cities, towns, and suburbs having the transportation networks they need to attract and retain businesses and provide opportunities for residents to prosper. 
 
Mayors know firsthand the benefits of a well-functioning transportation network and the danger of underinvestment.  Crumbling roads and failing transit systems translate to gridlock and constrained growth.  Businesses face declines in productivity, seniors cannot make doctor’s appointments and commuters are late to work. Worse, some jobs are left unfilled as workers are left without adequate transportation options to access employment.
 
This is not a partisan issue. Deficient bridges exist in red and blue districts all across this country.  Many city and state leaders, Democrats and Republicans, are already stepping up and committing more local funds.  However, without a strong federal partner, the twin demands of maintaining existing infrastructure and preparing for the future are beyond the means of any city.
 
Current federal commitments are insufficient to maintain, much less enhance, our transportation network. Throughout our nation, public transit maintenance needs exceed $86 billion and the highway and bridge repair backlog is an estimated $808 billion.  Yet, since 2009, federal surface transportation commitments have remained stagnant.  In addition, short term transportation authorizations and patches create uncertainty and increase risk, further increasing project costs.  We simply cannot afford continued extensions of the status quo.
 
Our nation’s cities need a six year transportation authorization renewal that significantly increases investment in our system and directs more resources to cities and metropolitan regions.  We commend Chairman Inhofe, Ranking Member Boxer, and the full Senate Environment and Public Works committee for unanimously passing a bipartisan six year transportation bill with increased funding out of the committee last month.  Just last week the Senate Commerce Committee also took action.  We urge you to make significant progress on this effort in a timely manner.  Without it, we risk reducing national productivity and competitiveness relative to our global competitors.  Congestion costs the U.S. economy over $120 billion each year.  Since the last long-term surface transportation bill was enacted in 2005, the economic competitiveness of U.S. transportation infrastructure has fallen from first in the world to 12th.  If the status quo continues, deficient transportation infrastructure will cost American businesses $430 billion by 2020. 
 
Our nation’s urban areas house more than 80 percent of our nation’s residents, and if we are to thrive, Congress must step up and make investments in our cities, towns, and suburbs.  We appreciate your action as we work together to meet the long-term transportation infrastructure needs.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Steven Adler, Mayor of Austin, TX
Thomas Armstrong, Mayor of Grimes, IA
Gregory Ballard, Mayor of Indianapolis, IN
Dewey Bartlett, Mayor of Tulsa, OK
Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City, UT
William Bell, Mayor of Birmingham, AL
Shane Bemis, Mayor of Gresham, OR
Stephen Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, SC
Virgil Bernero, Mayor of Lansing, MI
Richard Berry, Mayor of Albuquerque, NM
David H. Bieter, Mayor of Boise, ID
Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington D.C.
James Brainard, Mayor of Carmel, IN
Michael Brennan, Mayor of Portland, ME
Bob Buckhorn, Mayor of Tampa, FL
Christopher Cabaldon, Mayor of West Sacramento, CA
William Carpenter, Mayor of Brockton, MA
Daniel Clodfelter, Mayor of Charlotte, NC
Michael Coleman, Mayor of Columbus, OH
JP Conkling, Mayor of Altoona, IA
Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City, OK
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York, NY
Hardie Davis Jr. Mayor of Augusta, GA
John Dickert, Mayor of Racine, WI
James Diossa, Mayor of Central Falls, RI
Robert Donchez, Mayor of Bethlehem, PA
Denny Doyle, Mayor of Beaverton, OR
Kevin Dumas, Mayor of Attleboro, MA
Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando, FL
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, IL
William Euille, Mayor of Alexandria, VA
Kevin Faulconer, Mayor of San Diego, CA
Andrew Fellows, Mayor of College Park, MD
Bill Finch, Mayor of Bridgeport, CT
Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville, KY
Patrick Furey, Mayor of Torrance, CA
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, CA
Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach, CA
John Giles, Mayor of Mesa, AZ
Carolyn Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas, NV
Jim Gray, Mayor of Lexington, KY
Charlie Hales, Mayor of Portland, OR
Michael B. Hancock, Mayor of Denver, CO
Betsy Hodges, Mayor of Minneapolis, MN
Shawn Hogan, Mayor of Hornell, NY
Frank Jackson, Mayor of Cleveland, OH
Sly James, Mayor of Kansas City, MO
Dwight Jones, Mayor of Richmond, VA
Emmet V. Jordan, Mayor of Greenbelt, MD
Elizabeth Kautz, Mayor of Burnsville, MN
Mark Kleinschmidt, Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC
Christopher Koos, Mayor of Normal, IL
Sara Kurovski, Mayor of Pleasant Hill, IA
Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, LA
Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, CA
Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose, CA
Jeff Longwell, Mayor of Wichita, KS
Nelda Martinez, Mayor of Corpus Christi, TX
Geno Martini, Mayor of Sparks, NV
Nancy McFarlane, Mayor of Raleigh, NC
Andy McKenzie, Mayor of Wheeling, TN
Stephanie Miner, Mayor of Syracuse, NY
Jonathan Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford, CT
Kenneth Miyagishima, Mayor of Las Cruces, NM
Edward Murray, Mayor of Seattle, WA
W. Howard Myers, Mayor of Petersburg, VA
Svante Myrick, Mayor of Ithaca, NY
Jerry Nabours, Mayor of Flagstaff, AZ
Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, PA
Frank Ortis, Mayor of Pembroke Pines, FL
Robert Palmieri, Mayor of Utica, NY
Salvatore Panto Jr., Mayor of Easton, PA
Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston, TX
Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown, PA
William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA
Kitty Piercy, Mayor of Eugene, OR
Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth, TX
Laurel Prussing, Mayor of Urbana, IL
Miguel Pulido, Mayor of Santa Ana, CA
Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, TX
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore, MD
Tomás Regalado, Mayor of Miami, FL
Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor of Tucson, AZ
Domenic Sarno, Mayor of Springfield, IL
James Schmitt, Mayor of Green Bay, WI
Helene Schneider, Mayor of Santa Barbara, CA
Pedro E. Segarra, Mayor of Hartford, CT
Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, WI
Mike Spano, Mayor of Yonkers, NY
Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, AZ
Mark Stodola, Mayor of Little Rock, AL
John Suthers, Mayor of Colorado Springs, CO
Joyce Sutton Cameron, Mayor of Trotwood, OH
Thomas Tait, Mayor of Anaheim, CA
Ivy Taylor, Mayor of San Antonio, TX
Brian Wahler, Mayor of Piscataway, NJ
Dayne Walling, Mayor of Flint, MI
Martin Walsh, Mayor of Boston, MA
Setti Warren, Mayor of Newton, MA
Shelly Welsch, Mayor of University City, MO
Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, OH
A C Wharton Jr, Mayor of Memphis, TN
Diana Willits, Mayor of Windsor Heights, IA
Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken, NJ


 
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Published Jul 30, 2015

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