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ARTBA COMMENDS PRESIDENT CLINTON ON PROPOSED TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT INITIATIVES

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) commended President Clinton today "for keeping his campaign pledge to make transportation improvements a top investment priority for his administration."
 "We are obviously very pleased that the president recognizes that transportation and environmental infrastructure investments can help stimulate the economy, create jobs and make America more productive and competitive," ARTBA President and CEO Pete Ruane said. "We look forward to helping him move the short- and long-term infrastructure initiatives he announced in his State of the Union' address through Congress."
 Ruane said, however, "We're still waiting to see all ofhe infrastructure area."
 Ruane noted that 2.5 cents of the current 14.1 cents-per-gallon federal gasoline excise has been used for non-transportation spending since 1990. "The package should include a provision to extend and redirect this user fee revenue to the Highway Trust Fund to help pay for the president's initiatives," Ruane said. "It it our understanding that Transportation Secretary Pena agrees with this approach. We hope to see it emerge in the final legislative package."
 Ruane said national opinion research shows a strong link in the public's mind between the gasoline tax paid at the pump and the government's ability to finance needed highway and bridge improvements. A Jan. 30 poll of 1,000 American adults conducted for ARTBA by Penn & Schoen Associates, Inc., found that while 71 percent would support an increase in the federal gasoline tax if the resulting revenues were used exclusively for highway and bridge improvements, 74 percent oppose "higher gasoline taxes as a way to raise general revenue."
 The association executive also suggested that the president's proposed "Rebuild America" long-term transportation investment proposal be tied to the soon-to-be-designated 155,000-mile "National Highway System" (NHS) called for in the surface transportation act passed by Congress in 1991. Congress must approve a final NHS map, which will include mostly existing highways that serve a national interest, by Sept. 30, 1995. "The NHS plan provides a rational framework for a strategic long-term investment program that could enhance U.S. competitiveness," Ruane said.
 The ARTBA, based in Washington, is a national membership federation of public and private transportation construction interests.
 -0- 2/18/93
 /CONTACT: William D. Toohey Jr. of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, 202-488-2722/


CO: American Road & Transportation Builders Association ST: District of Columbia IN: TRN SU: EXE ECO

TW -- DC050 -- 8060 02/18/93 16:08 EST
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Date:Feb 18, 1993
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