WASHINGTON, April 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of LIUNA leaders from across the nation and dozens of Congressional districts will descend on Washington this week in a bipartisan push for members to work together on key priorities, including investment in transportation infrastructure, fixing Obamacare and unlocking good energy jobs.
"To get anything done, both Republicans and Democrats must act. LIUNA has always been a non-partisan union and that's why hundreds of our leaders will meet with members of both parties to inform them about our job-creating priorities and to build stronger relationships," LIUNA General President Terry O'Sullivan said.
At the top of LIUNA's agenda is passing a full-investment, long-term Highway Bill that creates jobs fixing our nation's roads, bridges and transit systems before the current Highway Trust Fund authorization expires May 31. A long-term Highway Bill can support hundreds of thousands of good jobs doing needed work, but as with all Americans, LIUNA members also depend on safe roads and bridges every day.
Poor road conditions, such as potholes, contribute to a third of all traffic fatalities, resulting in more than 10,000 lost lives every year. The average bridge in the U.S. is now 47 years old – dangerously close to the average lifespan of 50 years. Nearly a fourth of our bridges are deficient or obsolete, and the situation will only worsen without action. Congress has dodged making decisions by extending transportation legislation with short-term patches, strangling resources and undermining stability for needed transportation projects. The gas tax, which is the main resource for the Highway Trust Fund, has lost nearly half its value since it was last adjusted 22 years ago, further contributing to our deteriorating and increasingly unsafe surface transportation system.
O'Sullivan said local LIUNA leaders will tell members of Congress to lead on the issue. "It's time to stop sugar-coating the state of our critical transportation infrastructure," he said. "It's not only costing jobs and hurting our economy, it's costing lives."
LIUNA leaders will also urge their members of Congress to:
Fix Obamacare by repealing the transitional reinsurance tax and the so-called Cadillac tax – both of which punish workers and employers who for generations have been responsible and provided good health care coverage. The two taxes could bankrupt many multi-employer health care plans, causing millions of families to lose coverage.
Protect the nation's energy future by supporting an "all of the above" energy policy which encourages the growth of natural gas and domestic oil extraction and development of renewables.
Reject partisan rhetoric attacking family-supporting prevailing wages and the Davis-Bacon Act.
Stand up for the working and middle class by passing comprehensive immigration reform, which protects all workers by providing a path to citizenship for immigrants.
LIUNA's lobby day is held in conjunction with the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference. The number of local LIUNA leaders traveling to Washington is expected to significantly exceed last year's LIUNA lobby day.