Washington, DC— Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer joined John Horsley of American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Stephen Sandherr of the Associated General Contractors of America and William Millar of American Public Transportation Association on a conference call this afternoon to discuss how the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act will create and save jobs and boost our nation’s economy. Last week, Majority Leader Reid unveiled the HIRE Act as the first of a series of bills designed to spur job creation. The HIRE Act will help to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure through the extension of the Highway Trust Fund, which will allow for billions in infrastructure investment and has the potential to save one million American jobs. It will also extend the highly popular Build America Bonds program, which allows state and local governments to borrow for infrastructure projects at a reduced rate.
“The full funding for our highway and transit programs contained in the HIRE Act is critical – without these provisions, a million jobs could be lost,” said Chairman Boxer. “I look forward to working with the Majority Leader and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move this package forward quickly.”
“Passing the Highway and Transit program extension legislation is essential to sustain the State transportation capital investment programs that support literally millions of American jobs,” said Mr. Horsley. “Given the unemployment rate of 20 percent in the construction industry and the fact that some $79 billion projects are shovel ready this is must pass legislation.”
"While other industries are emerging from the recession, the construction industry with an unemployment rate of nearly 25%, is mired in a depression,” said Mr. Sandherr. “Investing in infrastructure through expansion of the Build America Bonds program and shoring up the Highway Trust Fund will create and preserve jobs and improve capital assets.”
“The facts are clear that public transportation infrastructure investment supports and creates good, quality ‘green’ jobs,” said Mr. Millar. “The HIRE Act provides a much-needed extension of current federal transportation programs. We urge Congress to act now. Without an extension, thousands of public transit projects that are underway will be halted, and hundreds of thousands jobs will be lost. This year-long bill gives Congress time to pass a longer-term surface transportation authorization act that is essential to allow transit systems and businesses to make their project and hiring decisions.”