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Trade groups urge Congress to advance federal infrastructure plan


A group of more than 150 national trade organizations last week urged Congress to advance an infrastructure investment package.

The group — which included the National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association and the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association — made the call as President Trump and his administration begin to prepare an infrastructure plan that he will present to Congress.

In a Jan. 3 letter, the group said that infrastructure must be a "leading priority" for Congress. In particular, the organizations asked lawmakers to increase direct federal investments in a broad range of infrastructure sectors over 10 years to achieve a $1 trillion investment.

The group also asked Congress to facilitate opportunities for private investment in U.S. infrastructure and accelerate the federal permitting process for projects.

"Substantial and long-term investments in all kinds of infrastructure are needed to expand our economy, grow jobs and compete globally," the organizations wrote in the letter. "We appreciate strong bipartisan support for various infrastructure initiatives over the years and hope that past momentum can sustain a more substantial commitment to meet the needs of our economy."

Other signers on the letter included the Railway Supply Institute, the American Public Transportation Association and the Rail Passengers Association.