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ATSSA joins groups petitioning Bhatt to rescind IIJA policy memo

ATSSA joined 17 organizations today in asking Federal Highway Administration Administrator Shailen Bhatt to rescind the “Policy on Using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Resources to Build a Better America” memorandum that was issued Dec. 16, 2021.

The groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, sent a letter to Bhatt in which they noted they supported the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) passed in November 2021 and that it was a “carefully negotiated and balanced package of policy reforms and targeted national investments” to make the lives of Americans better.

The issue leading to the request for the policy to be rescinded was that the Dec. 16 memo “elicited significant confusion within the transportation community.” Further, the letter states that the memo was “intended to serve as an overarching policy framework that prioritizes IIJA resources towards certain projects, which was inconsistent with what was laid out under the legislation President Biden signed into law the month before.”

The group expresses concern about the precedent set by the memo and how it is viewed by the Government Accountability Office.

The industry groups signing the letter note the value of IIJA funding in helping “stabilize and enhance” long-term transportation improvements in the states and recognize it will “facilitate private sector investments in equipment and personnel” but want to be sure that implementation is “transparent and lawful” so the benefits are maximized for both transportation improvements and job growth.

“At this critical point in the IIJA’s lifespan, when federal agencies, recipients, and industry should be working in close partnership to achieve these objectives, the continued attention to this document threatens to create uncertainty that could dilute the impact of the new law,” the letter concludes in asking for the memo to be withdrawn.  

Following is the list of groups signing the letter.

  • American Concrete Pavement Association
  • American Concrete Pipe Association
  • American Council of Engineering Companies
  • American Highway Users Alliance
  • American Road & Transportation Builders Association
  • American Traffic Safety Services Association
  • American Trucking Associations
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • Association of American Railroads
  • Associated Equipment Distributors
  • Association of Equipment Manufacturers
  • Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute
  • National Asphalt Pavement Association
  • National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
  • National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association
  • Portland Cement Association
  • Surety & Fidelity Association of America
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
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