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Rep. Waters Applauds Passage of Carson-Waters Amendment to Ensure Transportation Equity for Urban Communities

October 22, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, applauded the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s passage of the Carson-Waters amendment, which ensures equity for economically distressed urban communities in the distribution of Federal highway funds.  The amendment was offered at Congresswoman Waters’ request by Congressman André Carson (IN-07) during the committee’s consideration of the surface transportation reauthorization bill.  The amendment was passed by voice vote, and the bill was subsequently reported out of the committee, also by voice vote.


“I applaud the committee’s passage of the Carson-Waters amendment because it will ensure that the most economically distressed communities in our urban areas receive their fair share of Federal highway funds,” said Congresswoman Waters. 


“I’m proud to work with my colleague, Ms. Waters, on this important amendment that will help ensure that economically distressed urban communities are not left behind,” said Congressman Carson.  “It’s just a matter of fairness to make this small but significant change.”


The Carson-Waters amendment is based on the Integrated Transportation and Economic Development Act (H.R. 3740), which Congresswoman Waters introduced on October 9, 2015, with the support of Congressman Carson and nine other original cosponsors.


The Carson-Waters amendment amends the national goals of the Federal highway program to include the improvement of road conditions in economically distressed urban communities and the expansion of access to jobs, markets, and economic opportunities for people who live in these communities.  The highway program’s goals had already included access to markets for rural communities. 


“Transportation infrastructure is important in economically distressed urban communities because it provides access to jobs, economic opportunities, and essential goods and services such as banks, health care facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, and colleges and universities,” said Congresswoman Waters.  “The Carson-Waters amendment will help to ensure that these communities will have safe, reliable roads and bridges to access these critical opportunities and services.”


The Carson-Waters amendment also requires the Secretary of Transportation to establish performance measures for states to use to assess the conditions, accessibility and reliability of roads in economically distressed urban communities and requires states to submit periodic reports that describe progress in the improvement of these communities’ roads.