LAMB SUPPORTS INVESTMENT IN AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed H.R. 2, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act, which provides $494 billion over five years to make infrastructure investments in surface and rail transportation. Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17), a member of the Committee, voted in support of the legislation.
"The millions of Americans who have lost their jobs, and the millions more young people looking for a start in life in the middle of this pandemic, deserve to see us come together in support of this infrastructure bill. Building infrastructure is our most powerful tool to create jobs and improve the playing field for all businesses," said Lamb.
"In Western Pennsylvania, our parents and grandparents left us a strong system of roads, rails, bridges, locks, dams, streetcars, and more – an investment that paid off throughout the twentieth century," added Lamb. "It now falls to our generation to rebuild and improve upon this system for the twenty-first century. This bill is an important down payment, and its focus on American jobs and American steel could not come at a better time."
Prior to the development and consideration of H.R. 2, Lamb sent a letter to the Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee outlining his priorities for inclusion in the INVEST in America Act. In the letter, Lamb called for significant investment in rail, highways, structurally deficient bridges, public transit and research and innovation. He also outlined the need for strong Buy America provisions as well as support for American workers.
In May, Lamb and Representative Bob Gibbs (OH-7) led a bipartisan letter to congressional leadership to ask them to provide $50 billion in immediate funds to state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) in light of COVID-19's impact on transportation and infrastructure projects. H.R. 2 includes important additional FY2021 funds and flexibilities to help state DOTs meet the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Lamb successfully fought for the inclusion of multiple provisions in the final bill, including language that:
- Ensures landslide stabilization projects are eligible for the pre-disaster mitigation program;
- Ensures that autonomous vehicle developers, not just manufacturers, are included in the working group on autonomous vehicles;
- Strengthens the domestic steel industry by requiring mill certifications for bus shells, to verify that they are made with domestic steel for purposes of Buy America enforcement;
- Strengthens the domestic steel industry by ensuring imported buses cannot get Buy America domestic credit; and
- Protects U.S. steelworkers by amending the definition of "highly skilled labor costs" for the Buy America provisions in the bill to close loopholes in the accounting of domestic labor costs.
The INVEST in America Act will:
- Address the large backlog of roads, bridges, and transit systems in need of repair and replacement;
- Build resilient infrastructure that will withstand climate change and extreme weather events;
- Design streets that are safer for all road users including pedestrians and cyclists;
- Put 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 increase funding for public transit options to integrate technology and increase routes and reliability with tools such as bus-only lanes and priority signaling;
- Make transformation 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; and
- Improve access to federal funding to help communities around the country undertake transformative projects that are smarter, safer and made to last.
Following passage by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the bill now goes to the full House for consideration. Click here to learn more about INVEST in America Act (H.R. 2).