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NO. R-272.  Joint resolution urging Congress to include transportation infrastructure projects in the federal economic stimulus package.


   By the Committee on Transportation,

Whereas, the subprime mortgage crisis, and the staggering drop in activity in the housing industry, including a declining number of new starts in 2007, have spurred the President and the bipartisan leadership in the United States House of Representatives to develop an emergency economic stimulus package designed to pump money into the economy on a rapid basis, and

Whereas, despite calls from many quarters, including leading economists, for a more broadly-based program, the United States House-passed version (H.R. 5140) of the legislation consists of a system of one-time tax rebate payments to individual taxpayers with additional payments based on the taxpayer’s number of children, and provisions to include low income individuals in the rebate program, and

Whereas, although H.R. 5140 also includes business tax incentives and mortgage and housing loan provisions intended to stimulate the economy, these provisions in combination will not pump large sums of money into the economic stream on an immediate basis, and 

Whereas, even if this legislation is signed into law in the coming days, the technical preparations that the United States Internal Revenue Service must implement in order to issue the rebate payment checks will probably delay any checks being mailed before May at the earliest, and

Whereas, based on the results of prior similar federal stimulus legislation, H.R. 5140 may not serve its intended purposes because many individuals will either use the extra money to pay debts or deposit it in the bank, and in either case, not spend the cash on consumer goods or services, and

Whereas, a desirable method for introducing cash into the economy on an accelerated basis and also benefitting the public generally would be for Congress to create transportation infrastructure economic stimulus legislation, and

Whereas, Peter Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office, has testified before the United States Senate Finance Committee that target transportation infrastructure investments would provide a rapid and effective economic boost, and

Whereas, on a national basis, each dollar invested in transportation infrastructure generates $5.70 in economic activity, and

Whereas, for every billion dollars invested in transportation infrastructure, 47,000 jobs are created nationwide, and

Whereas, over 2,700 transportation infrastructure projects in 44 states could be ready to begin construction in 90 days, and

Whereas, many of these projects would greatly improve both motorists’ safety and travel conditions and would also provide long-term benefits to all Americans by improving our nation’s transportation infrastructure, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly requests that Congress create a transportation infrastructure economic stimulus package and that traditional state matching requirement be lowered to five percent and be subject to the sliding scale provided for in 23 U.S.C. § 120, and be it further

ResolvedThat the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont Congressional delegation. 

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont