From ASCE National Government Relations
ASCE held its 15th Legislative Fly-In this week in Washington, DC, bringing 200 ASCE members from 46 states and the District of Columbia together to learn about issues affecting the civil engineering profession and then share the civil engineers’ viewpoint on those issues with their elected officials on Capitol Hill.
The program kicked off Tuesday afternoon with training sessions followed by a dinner. At dinner, winners of the Outstanding Civil Engineering Advocate of the Year awards were recognized: Darren Benoit of New Hampshire received the individual award, and the Louisiana Section received the group award. The awards presentation was followed by a speech by Peter Rogoff, acting under secretary of transportation for policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Rogoff thanked the attendees for traveling to Washington to share their expertise with lawmakers. In his remarks, he warned that 32 short-term extensions have caused local and state leaders to “lose their vision” to plan long-term projects, which are what America needs most to be ready for future population growth and demographic trends. He continued by saying the DOT is focused on working with Congress to increase investment in transportation infrastructure, warning that "if we don't change course, it's dismal."
On Wednesday ASCE members first heard from Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who highlighted the need to fix the Highway Trust Fund, commenting that “No nation became great building its infrastructure nine months at a time.” The group then headed to Capitol Hill to visit their United States senators and representatives, discussing key legislative issues including the Update, Promote, and Develop America's Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act, surface transportation authorization, and Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) implementation.
ASCE concluded the Legislative Fly-In week with the Dream Big: Engineering Wonders of the World reception in the Cannon Caucus Room, which promoted the forthcoming IMAX film.