The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s proposal for long-term transportation policy makes repair, safety, climate change, and access to jobs and services core goals for the bill’s spending, rather than just nice add-ons— taking a dramatically different approach than the Senate’s long-term proposal.
WASHINGTON, DC — “Federal transportation policy has been on autopilot for two decades, blindly pouring money into the same old programs and hoping for miracles when it comes to producing a transportation system that works for all Americans, keeps them safe, is well maintained, and helps meet our goals for reducing emissions and addressing climate change,” said Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America. “As with the House’s proposal in the last Congress, Chairman DeFazio once again lays the groundwork for finally updating our country’s 1950’s approach to transportation to meet 20th Century needs.
“The proposal that Chairman DeFazio released today takes last summer’s fairly groundbreaking INVEST Act and improves on it. We are particularly happy to see the inclusion of a program to address transit deserts and another program to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure, like highways.
“Like last summer’s bill, this proposal includes reforms to the core, fundamental programs to ensure that states prioritize repair, make safety a primary goal, and make access to jobs and opportunities a priority for the billions we invest each year. This is a paradigm shift from the approach of the last 30 years of proposing small, exciting new programs to fix recognized problems while allowing the much larger core program to exacerbate and further those same problems.
“That’s the kind of fundamentally new approach we need, and we are excited to work with the Committee to make it even better. We hope the Senate takes some cues and that both Democrats and Republicans focus their efforts on a proposal that generates better outcomes, rather than agreeing to prop up a stale and destructive status quo,” Osborne said.