The time is now for Congress to finally get moving on transportation infrastructure

With the election now concluded, it is time for members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to truly roll up their sleeves and make some inroads on the transportation infrastructure front.

By ·

So, with what was very likely the most riveting Mid-Term election cycle in modern times, if not all American history, in the books, it leaves the question of: what happens now?

Well, for starters, with the Democratic Party now overseeing the House of Representatives, it could serve as a launch pad for some actual bipartisan movement for more than a few things, like, say, trade and healthcare to be sure.

But for the purposes of this column, let’s keep it to transportation infrastructure, a long time topic/talking point/theme on campaign trails (not so much for the mid-terms, it seems). Even though it was not a major issue candidates ran on, it still carries more than a little weight for all of us, especially when considering the far-from-perfect state of our nation’s roads, highways, tunnels, and bridges, and more.

With the election now concluded, it is time for members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to truly roll up their sleeves and make some inroads on the transportation infrastructure front.

Why? Well, for starters the most recent grade given by the for transportation infrastructure in its 2017 report was a D+, not exactly Dean’s List material, to be sure.   

“Deteriorating infrastructure is impeding our ability to compete in the thriving global economy, and improvements are necessary to ensure our country is built for the future,” the ASCE report noted. “While we have made some progress, reversing the trajectory after decades of underinvestment in our infrastructure requires transformative action from Congress, states, infrastructure owners, and the American people.”

There was one key word in that comment that clearly caught my attention: decades, meaning a very long time or much more than a while.

Even though that D+ grade is obviously not cutting it, there has been an ongoing game of political “kick the can” pertaining to Congress making the needed investments and commitment to making changes that has been literally going on for decades (there is that word again).

In this space and in the pages of Logistics Management, the topic of kicking said can has been closely covered and scrutinized. But apparently Congress is not paying enough attention, as evidenced by the failure of Congress to increase the federal fuel tax, primary funding mechanism for financing a large amount of transportation infrastructure projects, since 1993.

1993? Yes, that is not a typo, it was a very, very long time ago indeed.

Aside, from the lack of raising the federal fuel tax, there has been, and continues to remain, what ostensibly is an interminable struggle for Congress to manufacture a true long-term piece of legislation that is able to come up with revenue drivers that can truly finance new and needed projects and also subsequently help the nation to capitalize on this strong level of economic momentum that is occurring.

That is not being said with an axe to grind, nor any political leanings either. And why should there be? In fact, one can make the argument that infrastructure is, in fact, the least partisan national issue there is.

Ray LaHood, President Barack Obama’s first Department of Transportation Secretary perhaps drove that point home best at an industry conference where I saw him speak a few years back, when he said: “Transportation has always been bipartisan,” LaHood said. “There are no Republican or Democratic bridges. There are Democratic or Republican roads. There just aren’t. There’s Americans who know how to build infrastructure, who know how to build American infrastructure. And so I think if the Congress can figure the pay for they can pass a long term bill.”

Those words rang true now, and they still ring true today. While LaHood was not able to fully execute on that thesis, it does not mean Congress cannot in the future. And with Republicans continuing to run the Senate and Democrats now in control of the House, the need to meet in the middle to give transportation infrastructure the funding (and attention) truly required, there is no time like the present to get things moving. It benefits all of us, no matter who you pulled the lever for in the voting booth yesterday.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.

Latest Whitepaper
Is It Time For a New Network Strategy?
A successful supply chain network design gives companies a competitive advantage, pinpoints ways to significantly reduce costs, improves service levels, reduces overall cycle times, streamlines all processes and systems used, and more.
Download Today!
From the May 2019 Logistics Management Magazine
May is our Technology Issue, and we’ve devoted the majority of our pages this month to the evolution of the technology toolbox that’s now within our grasp.
The Digital Supply Chain Takes Shape
Top 30 U.S. Ports 2019: Trade tensions determine where cargo goes next
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Technology Roundtable: Are you ready for what’s next?
In this webcast LM's group editorial director Michael Levans gathers four top supply chain management technology analysts to discuss how some of the hottest software and technologies is helping logistics and supply chain management professionals streamline their operations to meet the pressing demands of digital commerce and manage through the tightest labor market in a generation.
Register Today!
35th Annual Salary Survey: Compensation matters more than ever
While job satisfaction remains the primary reason for today’s logistics managers to stay with one...
2019 Rate Outlook: Pressure Builds
In 2019, the world economy will enter a third straight year of broad-based growth, but many...

2019 Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market Update: Keeping pace with the times
The transportation management systems market is growing right along with the number of challenges...
The Logistics News that Shaped 2018
Every year at this time, group news editor Jeff Berman combs through the mountain of news that was...

У нашей фирмы нужный веб портал , он описывает в статьях про Оксиметолон купить