Press Releases

What They Are Saying about T&I Republicans’ STARTER Act 2.0

Washington, D.C., June 3, 2021 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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Organizations representing job creators, system users, and the builders of the Nation’s roads, bridges, and surface transportation system are offering their support for H.R. 3341, the Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology, & Efficient Review (STARTER) Act 2.0, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans’ framework of priorities for providing responsible, historic levels of investment in America’s roads, bridges, and core infrastructure to meet the Nation’s growing transportation needs:

“Among other notable programs, STARTER Act 2.0 focuses on increased investment in core surface transportation infrastructure, stabilizing the Highway Trust Fund, and exploring a new mechanism to fund the highway program in the future. This safety-focused bill includes an important measure to help alleviate the national truck driver shortage by establishing a structured apprentice program to allow younger commercial driver’s license operators to drive in interstate commerce, and a robust suite of programs to harness innovation to safely and sustainably move goods and people through technological innovation. Furthermore, the legislation does not saddle motor carriers or private industry with unnecessary mandates that hamper goods movement efficiency and ingenuity.  UPS is hopeful both Republicans and Democrats can unite around many of the principles included in the bill, by enacting a surface reauthorization package that enhances the safety, fluidity and velocity of our highway, rail and transit networks, allows for technology improvements in goods movement, and is funded via the user pay, user benefit principle.” – Thomas F. Jensen, Vice President, UPS

The best way to revitalize the United States’s infrastructure and modernize the transportation system isn’t just spending taxpayer dollars for the sake of spending money but instead streamlining the process to make building more efficient and less expensive without sacrificing safety.  With the introduction of the STARTER Act, we are pleased to see Rep. Graves subscribe to that approach.  His legislation would modernize and expand our nation’s infrastructure through regulatory reform and ensure more projects come online faster and cheaper - which means a better deal for taxpayers, infrastructure users, and builders. At its core, the STARTER Act makes infrastructure project reviews more efficient and cost-effective, two things that will spur economic recovery and create jobs.” – Thomas Aiello, Director of Federal Affairs, National Taxpayers Union (NTU)

The STARTER Act 2.0 put forth by Transportation and Infrastructure Republican Committee leaders provides more than $400 billion over five years for America’s roads, bridges, and public transit systems.  This commitment to invest in America’s transportation infrastructure shows that there is a very real pathway for enacting a surface transportation reauthorization.  Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) is right to introduce this proposal and we look forward to additional, bipartisan, progress for investing in America’s infrastructure.” – Jimmy Christianson, Vice President, Government Relations, Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)

“The American Road & Transportation Builders Association commends the introduction of H.R. 3341, the Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology, and Efficient Review Act (STARTER 2.0).  The legislation would provide the highway funding needed to help boost economic recovery and help deliver transportation projects more efficiently by improving the permitting process.  The STARTER 2.0 would provide $400 billion to surface transportation programs, including a 32 percent increase for federal highway programs.  This level of investment over a five-year period would make headway in addressing the well-documented needs of the nation’s roads and bridges and help create a transportation system that benefits all Americans.  In addition to increased funding, the STARTER 2.0 would make significant project delivery process reforms.  By codifying ‘One Federal Decision,’ improving the transportation conformity process, and making other permitting process improvements, the legislation would ensure increased funding is used efficiently without compromising environmental standards.” – David Bauer, President & CEO, American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)

“The Highway Users appreciates the hard work of Ranking Member Graves and the Committee Republicans on this proposal.  We are hopeful that a bipartisan process will occur in the House like it did in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works this week.  It is timely and valuable that Republicans have brought their ideas to the table to advance that process.” – Laura Perrotta, President and CEO, American Highway Users Alliance

“As this bill shows, improving our nation’s infrastructure enjoys broad, bipartisan support.  STARTER Act 2.0 includes several measures important to our industry, including a boost to truck parking capacity and legislation to grow and strengthen trucking’s workforce.  We now hope that all members of the Committee will work in good faith with their colleagues across the aisle to debate these ideas and advance this process in a responsible and bipartisan fashion.  Roads and bridges are not partisan, and the American people are depending on our leaders in Washington to get this job done.” – Chris Spear, President and CEO, American Trucking Associations (ATA)

“Cubic is calling for transportation policy that invests in the technologies that will reduce congestion and will foster a world class, innovative transportation system.  We are encouraged by many proposed policies in the STARTER Act 2.0 legislation that seek to deliver a 21st century transportation system….  Ultimately, we believe that advancing innovative transportation policy and solutions will require bipartisan and bicameral cooperation and we are looking forward to engaging with all stakeholders.  Congress has this opportunity to provide incentives to create integrated mobility management systems to improve multi-modal transportation solutions that provide access to jobs, education, and health care and improve our environment.  Among other critical initiatives, we urge congress to adopt these core objectives surrounding the use of technology to reduce congestion:

  • Establish robust funding to utilize ITS, innovation, and data driven operational techniques to reduce congestion and create a resilient transportation system through optimized networks.
  • Establish a national Road-User Charge Pilot Program that is multi-state, charges urban miles different than rural miles, and incentivizes off-peak travel and high occupancy vehicles.
  • Establish a framework to establish ‘mobility marketplaces’ that allows consumers to plan and make a single payment for a trip through a series of transportation options that can be filtered by cost, trip length, and other factors.” – John Roberti, SVP, Government Relations and Strategy, Cubic

    The Surface Transportation Advanced Through Reform, Technology & Efficient Review Act 2.0 (STARTER 2.0) is a strong proposal by Ranking Member Graves’ (R-Mo.) and Republican members on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  It reflects many of the bipartisan transportation policies important to keeping U.S. equipment manufacturers competitive in the global economy.  This includes policies that create new jobs, grow businesses, and ensure prosperity for all Americans.  AEM applauds the robust funding levels proposed and the approach to modernizing the current user-fee system with a national vehicle-miles-traveled pilot.  This legislation also addresses the need to accelerate the adoption and deployment of digital construction technologies that will enhance resiliency, improve project delivery times, and reduce construction costs.  We look forward to working with the full Committee to deliver a bill to the President’s desk as soon as possible.” Dennis Slater, President, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)

    “ACEC welcomes the introduction of the STARTER Act 2.0 by Ranking Member Sam Graves as a positive sign there is strong bipartisan support to replace the FAST Act.  America’s engineers appreciate the robust investment levels in the bill as well as commonsense project delivery reforms.  We look forward to working with all members of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in moving legislation to a mark-up this month.  The recent unanimous Environment & Public Works Committee vote to approve the Senate’s bill proves that there is common ground in making a generational investment in our infrastructure.” – Linda Bauer Darr, President & CEO, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)

    “The STARTER Act 2.0 is a positive step in bringing our nation’s surface transportation network into the 21st century.  ASCE applauds Ranking Member Graves’ proposed 5-year, $400 billion investment, a 32% increase from FAST Act funding that helps streamline project delivery, supports resilience, and provides long-term Highway Trust Fund revenue solutions.  We strongly urge the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to develop a comprehensive surface transportation reauthorization which addresses our 10-year $1.2 trillion investment deficit.  The current extension ends on September 30th and Congress must act to raise our C- grade and improve our nation’s quality of life.” – Jean-Louis Briaud, Ph.D., P.E., 2021 President, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

    “We welcome the efforts of House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I) Ranking Member Sam Graves (MO) along with Reps. Garret Graves (LA), Rodney Davis (IL) and Rick Crawford (AR) for introducing their surface transportation reauthorization package, the Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology & Efficient Review (STARTER) Act 2.0. This five-year, $400B surface transportation reauthorization would dramatically improve our road, bridge and highway network while incorporating common-sense policies that improve project delivery and maximize federal investment dollars.  NSSGA greatly appreciates the inclusion of the One Federal Decision Act that eliminates duplicative permitting ensuring that federal infrastructure projects are completed on time, and on budget, without sacrificing thorough environmental impact reviews.  We also welcome the addition of increased flexibility for state and local partners to best determine what surface projects are most-needed, as well as emphasizing resiliency within our federal surface infrastructure network and combating impacts of extreme weather events.  The bill also prioritizes local and state pilot programs that are exploring alternative and long-term funding methods to address the crippling Highway Trust Fund (HTF). Supporting national pilot programs that provide financial certainty for the HTF is critical, and ultimately implementing programs like vehicles-miles-traveled (VMT) is key as we shift away from the reliance on the current federal fuel tax.” – Michele Stanley, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA)

    “Consensus around the need for significant, forward-looking infrastructure investments continues to gain speed.  The newly introduced STARTER Act 2.0 is a thoughtful effort to responsibly address our current funding challenges, improve project delivery and make meaningful progress on a vehicle-miles-traveled fee, which could provide more sustainable funding for the Highway Trust Fund.  Railroads encourage members of Congress and the administration to keep working toward a bipartisan solution that will help our economy compete today and in the future.” – Ian Jefferies, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads (AAR)

    “On behalf of our more than 1,200 members and affiliates, the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) thanks the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republicans for their commitment to public transportation as expressed in the recently introduced STARTER Act 2.0.  Public transportation policy is best developed in a non-partisan environment and we urge consideration of this important legislation as the full committee seeks to reauthorize the FAST Act." – Scott Bogren, Executive Director, Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA)

    As your committee continues its important work to reauthorize surface transportation programs, I write to express Transurban’s support of the Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology, & Efficient Review (STARTER) Act 2.0….  Specifically, we strongly support provisions within the STARTER Act 2.0 to raise the cap on Private Activity Bonds (PABs) from $15 billion to $45 billion, to provide the Secretary of Transportation authority to provide a TIFIA loan rate-reset for borrowers impacted by COVID-19, to expand the Surface Transportation Systems Funding Alternatives program, and to create a national VMT pilot program….  Finally, we strongly support the committee’s work to expand the Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program, as well as fund a national pilot program to study road-user charging. The STSFA program has funded a number of valuable state-level road-user charging programs, and we are encouraged to see interest in studying the technology as a long-term, sustainable funding alternative to the motor fuel tax.” – Pierce R. Coffee, President North America, Transurban

    “The Portland Cement Association commends Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and the Transportation and Infrastructure Republicans for recognizing the need for increased investment in our nation’s surface transportation network through the introduction of the STARTER 2.0 Act. The legislation clearly lays out the Republican priorities for reauthorization including much needed project delivery reform and we look forward to working with both sides of the aisle to ensure bipartisan legislation that provides significant investments in our surface transportation network is enacted this year.”– Sean O’Neill, Senior Vice-President, Government Affairs, Portland Cement Association

    Click here for more information about the STARTER Act 2.0.

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