With the law authorizing federal transportation spending set to expire at the end of the month, the National Retail Federation yesterday urged the Senate to move quickly on the reauthorization legislation being debated this week.
“Everyone agrees that there is a critical need for Congress to pass this important legislation,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “We cannot continue down a path of short-term extensions that provide less and less certainty to the highway programs. Congress must act now to provide certainty and to allow U.S. companies to remain competitive on a global basis.”
The Senate is considering S. 1813, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21 Act, sponsored by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. The measure would provide $109 billion over two years.
French praised a provision of the bill calling for development of a “critically needed” national freight policy, one of retailers’ top priorities.
“A national freight policy will help to ensure that we are able to reduce current bottlenecks and choke points which impact the ability to move cargo seamlessly and without delay through the U.S.,” French said.
Retailers are among the nation’s largest shippers, moving hundreds of billions of dollars worth of merchandise through the nation’s ports, railroads and highways each year. The condition of the transportation system and its ability to handle cargo quickly and efficiently are vital to retailers’ businesses.