Update on Transportation Conference-Action Requested
Once again, we are asking ECFC members to reach out to their Congressional delegations to urge support for the inclusion of a provision to restore parity between the monthly transit and parking benefits.
The House-Senate Transportation Conference Committee continues to make slow, but steady progress. At this point, the Conference Committee has spent significant time discussing major provisions of the bill and continues to work on finding acceptable offsets. If the Conference Committee hopes to reach is June-end deadline for final passage of the legislation, we expect that the Committee must complete or be close to completing its activities in mid-June.
We are grateful for ECFC members’ efforts to build support for a transit parity provision in the final package. If you have not done so already, we strongly urge you to contact your Senators and Representatives. Please ask them to let Senate and House Leaders and, importantly, Conference Committee members, know of their support for restoration of parity between the transit and parking benefit. You also can share with them this letter sent by organizations, including ECFC, to House Speaker Boehner.
Key points to make include:
- The benefit enables employees to reduce their commuting costs by an average of 40 percent, which in these challenging economic times provides much needed financial relief. When parity lapsed, commuters experienced higher commuting costs and annual payroll taxes – up to $500 per year more.
- Restoring parity will further promote the use of public transportation, which will help reduce traffic congestion, conserve energy, and improve air quality.
We know that many of you have strong contacts in your delegation’s offices. We recommend reaching out by telephone or email directly to staff responsible for transportation issues. Telephone numbers for House and Senate offices can be found at: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. A list of Transportation Conference members can be found online here.
We also want to make sure that you are aware of the web site Commuter Benefits Work For Us, which ECFC, along with a number of organizations, is supporting. The website has a call to action center as well as a number of other resources on the commuter benefit.
Please let Natasha Rankin or Colette Desmarais know if you have any questions.