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APTA would like to thank all of its members who participated in our Legislative Conference and met with their members of Congress as part of our Capitol Hill Summit last week, as well as those who have met with their elected representatives in the U.S. House and Senate over the past few months. These meetings and your enthusiasm and dedication are critical to our carrying our unified message on the immediate need for a well funded, six-year, multi-modal surface transportation authorization bill.
Building and maintaining relationships with your representatives in Washington and their staff members is essential for protecting and advancing the interests of public transportation. In an effort to coordinate your activities and APTA’s ongoing advocacy efforts in Washington, we want to hear from you! If you have not already done so, please use connect to APTA’s Capitol Hill Meetings Database to report on the meetings you have had with your representatives either during the Legislative Conference, or any at other time since the November elections. Please tell us how the meetings went! You can use the feedback form to provide notes and feedback within the database. APTA staff will use this information when following up on your visits.
Please continue your outreach at home with your district office. We had an exciting and productive conference and look forward to continued work with you all year long on behalf of public transportation. Both chambers of Congress and the Administration are expected to continue to advance authorization legislation in the coming weeks, so your participation will remain critical. We would also like to note that next Tuesday, March 29, APTA President Bill Millar will formally present APTA’s position on surface transportation authorization legislation to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee through testimony at a hearing being held by the Subcommittee on Highways & Transit, chaired by Representative Jimmy Duncan (R-TN).
If you have questions on using the database or about the conference in general, please contact Meredith Slesinger of APTA’s Government Affairs Department at email@example.com or (202) 496-4860.
“Gang of 64” Senators Call for President Obama to Support Comprehensive Deficit Reduction
Last Friday, led by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), a group of 64 Senators sent a letter to President Barack Obama stating that comprehensive deficit reduction must be central to ongoing discussions on the federal budget. The letter urges the President to engage in a broad discussion with the Senate about a debt reduction strategy that will address discretionary and entitlement spending and tax reform. The letter notes that a bipartisan group of Senators has been working on a comprehensive deficit reduction package based on the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Bi-partisan Fiscal Commission that submitted a similar package of recommendations to Congress last December. Among the Fiscal Commission’s recommendations is to gradually raise the gas tax by fifteen cents between 2013 and 2015. The commission, while generally not in support of increasing taxes, notes that infrastructure investment is critical to economic growth, and that an increase in the fuel tax is necessary to meet investment needs without costly general fund transfers into the Highway Trust Fund.
APTA is encouraged by the efforts of this group of Senators, and will continue to closely follow this discussion.
For more information, please contact Paul Dean of APTA’s Government Affairs Department at (202) 496-4887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.