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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

U.S. mayors echo Obama's call for SAFETEA-LU extension


Mayors of 128 U.S. cities have signed a letter imploring Congress to pass an extension of the federal surface transportation bill (SAFETEA-LU) before Sept. 30.

The letter — which echoed President Barack Obama’s call earlier this week for similar action — also calls on Congress to support “federal transportation user fees that support critical investments in our transportation systems.”

Drafted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the letter states that allowing SAFETEA-LU to expire on Sept. 30 “will do irreparable harm to our already crumbling infrastructure.”

The mayors are calling on Congress to pass an extension, then consider key decisions about the scale of future funding and policy issues in a long-term transportation bill.

“Today, there is growing anxiety that for the first time in decades Congress could fail to continue to fund our national transportation system,” the letter states. “This comes at a time when countries like China, India and Brazil are investing heavily to become more competitive in the global marketplace. We cannot afford to undermine our competitiveness over the long term, while immediately eliminating hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs during this challenging economic time.”

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More News from 9/2/2011