American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Bill Graces urged members of the House Ways and Means Committee to quickly resolve the problem of the Highway Trust Fund, which needs a new, sustainable funding source, on Wednesday.
Graves testified that interstate congestion on U.S. highways has cost the trucking industry $9.2 billion in 2013 alone. This has wasted over 141 million hours, or the equivalent of 51,000 drivers idling in their trucks for an entire working year.
"It is important for all to understand that the decisions made by this committee over the next few months will have effects beyond the immediate solvency issues. The federal commitment to investment in transportation, if not properly addressed this year, could be placed in jeopardy for many years, or even decades, to come," Graves said. "This is not just an esoteric debate about a line item in a budget. Congress' actions have real consequences, and the decisions this committee makes will determine whether a business succeeds or fails and whether a job is created or eliminated. And most importantly, these decisions will determine the safety of the motoring public as well as the safety and efficiency of the millions of professional drivers operating daily on our highway system.
"While the trucking industry already makes a substantial contribution to the Highway Trust Fund, clearly federal investment is falling short, and we are therefore willing to support an even greater commitment," he said.