Congresswoman Waters Applauds Final Passage of Multi-Year Transportation Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, applauded the House of Representatives’ passage of the conference report on H.R. 22, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). The conference report provides $281 billion in guaranteed funding for highway, bridge, public transit, and transportation safety over the next five years. Congresswoman Waters voted in favor of the conference report, which passed the House by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 359 to 65. The conference report is expected to pass the Senate, after which it can be signed into law by the President.
Congresswoman Waters’ statement follows:
“I applaud the House for passing a multi-year transportation bill that will create jobs and bring our nation’s transportation system into the 21st century.
“For far too long, Congress has passed short-term extension after short-term extension for federal transportation programs, leaving states and local governments in limbo and preventing many beneficial transportation projects from being built. By providing guaranteed funding for the next five years, this measure will allow critical infrastructure projects to go forward.
“Although this conference report is not perfect and I do not agree with every provision, I voted in favor of it because I believe it is important that we move forward with a multi-year transportation program that will repair our dilapidated infrastructure and invest in safe, reliable roads, bridges and transit systems.
“I am especially proud that the FAST Act includes $3.7 billion in bus and bus facilities funding, a 75 percent increase over current levels. This funding will assist transit agencies in my district like Metro, Torrance Transit in the City of Torrance, and GTrans in the City of Gardena to expand and improve their services, thereby reducing traffic congestion and providing more public transportation options.
“The FAST Act also provides almost $1.5 billion for the successful Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program, which helps transit agencies like Metro arrange financing for new investments in transportation infrastructure. Metro used a TIFIA loan to accelerate the construction of the Crenshaw LAX Corridor, a light rail project that will provide service to several communities in and around my district in both the City of Los Angeles and the City of Inglewood.
“Once this conference report has been signed into law, I plan to work closely with Metro and the cities in my district to make certain that all of the communities in my district will benefit from federal highway, bridge and transit funding.
“Furthermore, the FAST Act continues the highly-successful Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program that ensures that women and minority-owned businesses are able to fairly compete for transportation contracts. It also includes a provision to facilitate the recruitment and training of transit workers from underrepresented populations, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and low-income populations.
“The FAST Act will create jobs, rebuild our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges, and allow states and local governments to move forward with innovative projects to expand access to safe, reliable, and affordable transportation alternatives for American families.”