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Tolling Points

Equipment Makers Urge U.S. Congress to 'Start with Infrastructure'

By: 
Bill Cramer

As the year draws to a close, yet another national association joined the push for federal infrastructure legislation in 2019 when the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) urged bipartisan support for a bill in the new U.S. Congress.

AEM’s $100,000 digital ad campaign urged legislators on both sides of the aisle to “start with infrastructure” after they’re sworn in this January, Bloomberg reports. The campaign ran from December 3 to 14, 2018.

AEM’s messaging featured “a Democrat, a Republican, and an Independent touting the importance of modern highways in California for on-time deliveries, broadband technology in Texas for agricultural yields, and reliable infrastructure in Ohio for clean drinking water.”  The ad buy focused on Congressional leaders from both parties and came on the heels of a “mission not accomplished” campaign that AEM fielded in August, after the last attempt at an infrastructure bill lost momentum.

“We’re trying to show that’s it’s not a partisan issue,’’ said AEM President Dennis Slater. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what your job is, what your politics are. A good transportation system and investing in infrastructure will help on so many different levels.’’

The association released results of a poll in which 68% of 1,945 registered voters said infrastructure investment was a major factor in their midterm voting decisions. “More than half said it will make commutes safer and create jobs,” Bloomberg notes.

“To some degree, a new Congress starts with a fresh slate, and it’s essential that legislators hear a loud chorus of diverse voices on the need for a wide-ranging national infrastructure program,” said IBTTA Government Affairs Director, Neil Gray.

“At the same time, we know from past experience that the success of the next bill will depend on how Congress decides to pay for the work. In surface transportation, IBTTA member agencies stand ready, willing, and able to help.”