"The long-delayed reauthorization of federal highway and public transportation programs is a major piece of unfinished business that can provide a meaningful boost to the U.S. economy and its workers and already has broad-based support."
The transportation bills appeared to have momentum, but some conservatives and liberals have criticized the House version, saying it spends too much and too little on transportation projects, respectively. Meanwhile the Senate's bill, which has been touted as bipartisan, has been stalled by unrelated amendments that have hampered the measure's ability to win 60 votes needed to move to final vote.
The Chamber's suggested letter to lawmakers says citizens should encourage lawmakers to find ways to end the logjams in both chambers.
"I understand that there challenges in finding the resources necessary to adequately fund such a measure," the letter says. "However, with the economic opportunities that a well-crafted measure could afford and emerging political consensus for advancing such an effort, I believe it is time for all involved parties to come together and craft a final product.
The Chamber promised earlier this week that it would campaign aggressively for the transportation bill over the weeklong Presidents Day recess.
“The idea is to get out, give people a good sense what the bill is and get them talking to their members of Congress and have them get the bill done,” Janet Kavinoky, the Chamber’s executive director of transportation and infrastructure, said. “We want Congress to feel like it needs to come back to Washington and get the bill done and put it to bed.”