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January 21, 2009 - ASCE Letter - provisions of the Economic Stimulus Legislation

January 21, 2009

The Honorable Charles Rangel                          The Honorable Dave Camp
Chairman                                                        Ranking Member
Committee on Ways and Means                        Committee on Ways and Means
U.S. House of Representatives                         U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515                                     Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member Camp:

On behalf of the over 146,000 members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), I am
writing to commend the House Ways and Means Committee on its draft “American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009” and to express ASCE’s strong support for provisions in the Ways and
Means draft.

ASCE is especially pleased to see the draft includes full repeal of the 3% withholding law which was
scheduled to go into effect in 2011. This tax provision would have added millions to the cost of the
nation’s infrastructure as engineering firms, construction companies, and governments at all levels,
struggle to absorb the added cost of doing business. We strongly urge Congress to enact this

We are also pleased to see that the Ways and Means Committee tax package includes financing for
$20.4 billion in school construction bonds. Efforts to repair, rehabilitate or modernize the nation’s
schools face many hurdles. The economic downturn hit school’s primary source of funding, local
governments, hard. This is evidenced by significant budget cuts by city and county governments
across the nation. ASCE strongly supports this proposal.

ASCE’s 2005 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the nation’s infrastructure a cumulative
grade of D. The Committee’s stimulus package will not only help to create and sustain the millions of
jobs necessary to promote a long term national economic recovery, but it also represents a
commitment towards addressing the nation’s decaying infrastructure.

In addition to creating jobs and promoting long term economic recovery, investment in America’s
infrastructure enhances the quality of life, improves our environment, and provides direct economic
development. ASCE strongly supports enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of


D. Wayne Klotz, P.E., D.WRE