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Congressman Waters Voices Opposition to Republican THUD Bill; Reiterates Support for TIGER Transportation Funding

June 10, 2014
Press Release
Last night, on the floor of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) spoke in opposition to the Republican Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015. The bill cuts to historic lows some key housing and transportation initiatives, including the TIGER program, which facilitated the construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor.

Full text of the Congresswoman's remark are below:

"I rise to oppose the Republican Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015.  This bill drastically underfunds critical transportation and housing programs.

"The bill's cuts to the TIGER program are particularly egregious.  TIGER – formally known as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery – is a competitive grant program that creates jobs by funding investments in transportation infrastructure.  

"The Republican bill cuts TIGER from the 2014 level of $600 million down to a mere $100 million in 2015.  Moreover, the bill includes restrictive language that limits TIGER grants by excluding public transit, passenger rail, bicycle and pedestrian projects.

"Public transit is an essential part of a modern transportation system.  A previous TIGER grant helped the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) to accelerate the construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor, a light rail project that will reduce traffic congestion and improve transportation service in my district.  Under the bill's restrictive language, this innovative project would never have qualified for a grant.

"TIGER needs to be expanded – not restricted and not cut.  The President requested $1.25 billion for TIGER in fiscal year 2015 in order to create jobs and modernize our nation's transportation infrastructure.  Earlier this year, I sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee urging support for the President's request, and 144 Members of Congress signed my letter.
"I urge my colleagues to strike the restrictive language in this bill, expand the TIGER program, and invest in a transportation system for the 21st century.

"I yield back the balance of my time."