Transportation Groups Call on Congress to Repeal Rescission of Highway Funding

On May 20, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials sent a letter co-signed by 30 other transportation associations and groups to both Democrat and Republican Congressional leaders calling for the repeal of a $7.6 billion rescission in Federal-aid highway contract authority scheduled to occur in July 2020.

“Section 1438 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act rescinds $7.6 billion in unobligated Federal-aid program contract authority on July 1, 2020,” the letter said.

“If the FAST Act rescission is allowed to execute, it will virtually wipe out all remaining contract authority available to states nationwide in the programs subject to the rescission,” it noted. “In addition, if allowed to take place, the rescission will significantly reduce the budget baseline for surface transportation programs beginning in fiscal year 2021.”

AASHTO’s letter follows on the heels of one sent by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on May 8 that also called upon Congressional leadership of both parties to repeal the rescission.

“Regardless of the amount rescinded from each state, the rescission will significantly limit the flexibility of all states and impact the ability to plan and execute highway and bridge projects,” the House T&I committee leaders said in their letter. “These projects are necessary in order to grow the U.S. economy, create jobs, and ensure the nation’s global competitiveness. We therefore request that the rescission be repealed as part of any budget agreement.”

AASHTO and its co-signatories made a similar point in their May 20 letter.

“Canceling the FAST Act rescission is necessary to ensure and enhance the benefits of our surface transportation programs including job creation, economic competitiveness, personal mobility, efficient movement of goods, and improved quality of life,” they said. “The rescission will result in real cuts to transportation funding and cause delays in project construction at a time that both Congress and the Administration are looking to increase transportation investments.”

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