By MarEx 2015-05-20 17:05:33
Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), together with 19 Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Democrats, introduced H.R. 2410, the Administration’s GROW AMERICA Act. The bill is a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill that provides robust funding to address our nation’s infrastructure crisis. Democrats offered this six-year, $478 billion bill as Congress must develop a long-term transportation bill this summer.
“I am proud to support this bold new vision for the future of American infrastructure and mobility. The GROW AMERICA Act is a smart investment in job-creation, transportation safety, business growth, and environmental protection,” saidCongressman Garamendi, Ranking Member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. “We need this type of program in order to rebuild and renew our crumbling infrastructure, to provide economic certainty, and to make the U.S. more competitive in a global marketplace.”
A recent study by the Department of Transportation, Beyond Traffic, confirmed that America’s infrastructure is failing. Drivers spend more than 40 hours annually stuck in traffic. Sixty-five percent of the roads they drive on are in less than good condition; one out of four bridges they cross needs to be replaced; and 45% of Americans do not have access to public transit. The report also revealed that, over the next 30 years, Americans will ask more of our transportation system than ever before. The United States’ population will grow by 70 million; freight traffic will increase by 45 percent. Click here for information on California’s infrastructure needs and the increased funds the GROW AMERICA Act would bring to the state.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the latest in a long series of last minute, short-term transportation bill extensions. The stop-and-start nature of these patches makes long-term transportation planning near impossible and imposes a cost in jobs, efficiency, and construction project price tags.
The GROW AMERICA Act offers a new way forward for:
· Highways – Provides $317 billion for programs under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), an increase of 29 percent over current levels;
· Safety – Increases safety across all modes of transportation, which includes almost tripling the budget of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s automobile defects office, providing $4.7 billion for truck and bus safety programs under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and $16 billion for Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP);
· Freight – Establishes an $18 billion multimodal freight program so American businesses can compete effectively in a global economy and grow;
· Rail – Provides $28.6 billion for programs under the Federal Rail Administration (FRA);
· Mobility – Raises transit investment by 76 percent and increases connections so that more Americans have access to jobs and education;
· Efficiency – Puts in place a transparent and clear permitting process to speed up project delivery;
· Financing – Increases innovative financing by strengthening Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan programs, by making more Private Activity Bonds (PABS) available, and by nearly doubling funding for the TIGER grant program; and
· Research and Innovation – Provides $3.4 billion to leverage research and innovation to move people and goods more safely and efficiently, while minimizing impacts on the environment.
More information on the GROW AMERICA Act can be found at: http://www.dot.gov/grow-america.