Chair DeFazio: “The INVEST in America Act is our opportunity to replace the outdated systems of the past with smarter, safer, more resilient infrastructure that fits the economy of the future, creates millions of jobs, supports American manufacturing, and restores U.S.
Washington, DC – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), released text of the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, a key component of the Moving Forward Framework that House Democrats, led by Chair DeFazio, released earlier this year. The bill’s original cosponsors are Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Chair Eleanor Holmes Norton and Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Chair Dan Lipinski. The Committee will consider the INVEST in America Act at a Committee markup scheduled for Wednesday, June 17th. The current surface transportation authorization expires September 30th.
The INVEST in America Act, which enables the completion of critical projects through long-term, sustainable funding and is fueled by American workers and ingenuity thanks to strong Buy America provisions and labor protections, authorizes nearly $500 billion over five years to address some of the country’s most urgent infrastructure needs, including:
• Tackling the massive backlog of roads, bridges, and transit systems in need of repair and replacement
• Building resilient infrastructure that will withstand the impacts of climate change and extreme weather
• Designing streets that are safer for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists •
Putting the U.S. on a path toward zero emissions from the transportation sector by prioritizing carbon pollution reduction, investing in public transit and the national rail network, building out fueling infrastructure for low- and zero-emission vehicles, and deploying technology and innovative materials
• Sharply increasing funding for public transit options in urban, suburban and rural areas in order to integrate technology and increase routes and reliability with tools such as bus-only lanes and priority signaling
• Making transformational investments in Amtrak in order to create a robust, reliable rail system and to address long-neglected maintenance needs in the Northeast Corridor and throughout the country while also enhancing rail worker and passenger safety and helping communities address grade crossing issues
• Improving access to Federal funding to help communities around the country undertake transformative projects that are smarter, safer, and made to last The INVEST in America Act also accounts for the economic downturn caused by the global pandemic and ensures States, cities, tribes, territories, and transit agencies can administer programs, advance projects, and preserve jobs in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.
The INVEST in America Act authorizes a sharp increase in funding to continue current programs in the first year of enactment of the bill (FY 2021) with wider policy implementation occurring in FY 2022.
“The bulk of our nation’s infrastructure—our roads, bridges, public transit and rail systems, the things that hundreds of millions of American families and businesses rely on every single day— is not only badly outdated, in many places it’s downright dangerous and holding our economy back. Yet for decades, Congress has repeatedly ignored the calls for an overhaul and instead simply poured money into short-term patches. The result? We’re still running our economy on an inefficient, 1950s-era system that costs Americans increasingly more time and money while making the transportation sector the nation’s biggest source of carbon pollution,” Chair DeFazio said. “That all changes with the INVEST in America Act. After holding nearly 20 Committee hearings, receiving testimony from dozens and dozens of witnesses and Members of Congress, and engaging with hundreds of advocates and transportation agencies, I am proud to bring together the ideas and the needs into one transformational bill that will catapult our country into a new era of how we plan, build, and improve U.S. infrastructure. The INVEST in America Act is our opportunity to replace the outdated systems of the past with smarter, safer, more resilient infrastructure that fits the economy of the future, creates millions of jobs, supports American manufacturing, and restores U.S. competitiveness.”
As Chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, I have had the opportunity to help write a bill that for the first time will move the nation from a narrow emphasis on building new roads for more vehicles to urgent issues propelled by 21st century transportation,” Chair Norton said. “For example, this bill focuses on transportation challenges compelled by climate change and on other frontline issues such as new ways to fund infrastructure in the United States.”
“I am proud to have joined with Chair DeFazio and Chair Norton to craft this innovative bill that not only makes robust investments in roads, bridges, passenger rail, transit, bike/ped, and other infrastructure, but will also profoundly transform mobility, protect the environment, and improve the quality of life for all Americans,” Chair Lipinski said. “As Chairman of the Rail Subcommittee, I am especially proud of the significant increase in funding and other support for commuter rail as well as Amtrak, and provisions to help eliminate problems for communities heavily impacted by railroads.”