Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), issued the following statement following the Senate’s vote to approve a long-term highway bill and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States:
On behalf of the equipment manufacturing industry, I applaud the Senate for passing the DRIVE Act, a long-term bill that would promote economic growth and manufacturing jobs. Leader McConnell, Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Boxer deserve particular credit for their leadership in shepherding this important legislation through the Senate.
Though we’re disappointed with the three-month extension agreed to by lawmakers, it is critical that leaders in the House now use this window to make a commitment to follow through on their intentions of passing a long-term bill and going to conference with the Senate.
The debate over the DRIVE Act has been constructive if for no other reason than because it demonstrated that the Highway Trust Fund still enjoys widespread, bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. For the past two weeks, we’ve heard from members of Congress in both parties about their commitment to the federal highway program. In the coming months, we hope House leaders will prove for the tens of thousands of manufacturing workers who support a meaningful highway bill that those pledges were more than empty rhetoric.AEM is a Milwaukee-based trade association representing more than 900 manufacturers of construction, agricultural, forestry and mining equipment.