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Building Support

Americans for Transportation Mobility, a coalition led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will air television ads during tonight’s State of the Union coverage, urging Congress to fully fund a six-year transportation reauthorization bill as soon as possible. [IMGCAP(1)]

Legislation was stalled during the 108th Congress over cost disputes between Congressional leaders and the White House.

Ed Mortimer, the executive director of Americans for Transportation Mobility, said in an interview that his group wanted to raise the issue’s profile at a moment when policy and media professionals were paying close attention.

“We want to find a way for the two sides to work something out, with the highest funding levels available given the revenue and budget environment,” he said. “It will take Congress and the administration to work together, and we want to be part of the solution.”

The ad, which will run on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, says: “For more than a year, federal lawmakers have delayed passage of a multi-year blueprint for highway transit investment. Inaction has consequences. Our transportation infrastructure is rapidly disappearing.”

The three-and-a-half-year-old coalition includes dozens of national and state organizations, including the Air Transport Association, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the Association of American Railroads and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The Budget, Explained. Attention House GOP staffers: Confused about the budgeting process? Anxious to get out of the office for a while to avoid your pesky chief of staff? Both? Time to head to class.

The House Budget Committee is hosting a short seminar Friday on Congress’ annual budgeting and authorization process for legislative staff and press secretaries of GOP Conference members. Jim Bates, the committee’s chief of staff, will be the featured speaker. The short course will be held in the panel’s hearing room (Room 210 in the Cannon House Office Building) beginning at 2 p.m. To reserve a seat, contact L.D. Platt at or (202) 226-9844.

— Louis Jacobson and Suzanne Nelson

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