The National Retail Federation and National Electrical Contractors Association each applauded the House for Thursday for passing a long-term transportation bill that looks to be critical for both parties.
The passage of H.R. 3763, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reforms (STRR) Act, includes major reforms that the NRF says will strengthen the national's freight infrastructure.
The six-year plan for transportation investments includes establishment of a national highway freight policy and creation of a $725 million grant program to jumpstart major highway and freight projects.
"Long-term surface transportation reauthorization is needed to address the growing bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the supply chain resulting from a lack of infrastructure investment," NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French wrote in a letter to Congress supporting the bill. French said the legislation would “provide long-term stability to the nation’s surface transportation programs."
Meanwhile, NECA's CEO John Grau issued the following statement on Thursday:
"NECA commends House leaders for moving forward with passage of the STRR Act. Our members play a crucial role in the building and maintenance of our transportation system. Electrical contractors across the country light our nation’s highways and streets; connect rail switches and catenaries; install complex electrical systems at airports; and much more. I thank Congressional leaders for working towards a long-term bill that will provide critical investment in our transportation infrastructure.
Failing to pass the House Thursday was an NRF-backed amendment requiring the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to track port data as part of efforts to prevent a repeat of the slowdown at West Coast ports that ended earlier this year.
"While we are happy to see a renewed focus on freight movement, we are disappointed that the House did not pass amendments on truck productivity or port performance," French said after the vote. "We continue to believe that these provisions would help retailers and other freight stakeholders improve efficiency throughout their supply chains."