WINONA, Minnesota (WXOW) – Congressman Tim Walz toured the facilities at United Machine and Foundry Corp. Thursday, before talking with employees and the company’s owner about the current situation in Washington in regards to a new highway bill.
The metal casting company sells two thirds of its products to the road construction industry, and owner Tom Renk said he would like to see a new highway bill passed and signed into law.
The most recent highway bill, officially titled the Safe, Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act, which funded the building and maintenance of roads and bridges through a federal gas tax, expired in 2009.
The federal government has passed numerous extensions to the bill – including one earlier this month which runs through March.
However the Senate and the House have failed to agree on a long term solution, which Renk said is bad for business.
“The people we sell to aren’t going to go out and spend millions on pieces of road construction equipment if there’s only a short term bill,” Renk said.
“They won’t spend money if they don’t think they’re going to be able to use that equipment effectively,” he added. “But the long term bull would provide some stability.