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LAMB VOTES TO ADVANCE BIPARTISAN SURFACE TRANSPORTATION LEGISLATION

June 10, 2021
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) passed the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684) with bipartisan support.  The legislation is a five-year, $547 billion investment that reauthorizes key surface transportation infrastructure legislation and contains several key provisions authored by Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17), a member of the T&I Committee.  The legislation would also include $20 million for four PA-17 transportation projects that Lamb submitted to the committee under the bipartisan Member Designated Projects program.

“America’s infrastructure is in desperate need of investment, and it’s our generation’s turn to step up to meet the challenge,” said Lamb.  “I am committed to fighting for an infrastructure plan that focuses on job creation, that puts people back to work and that provides long-term investment here in western Pennsylvania and across the country.” 

Prior to the development and consideration of H.R. 3684, 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 introduced the Freight Rail Innovation Act, and secured passage of components of this legislation as an amendment to H.R. 3684.  The legislation would establish a Freight Rail Innovation Institute, comprised of a university research partner and locomotive manufacturer, with the objective of developing zero-emission locomotive.  The goal would be to bring federal funding to western Pennsylvania to help accelerate the development of hydrogen-powered locomotives, creating jobs in energy and manufacturing industries and boosting the local economy.

In April, Lamb submitted six Member Designated projects for consideration to the committee.  State Departments of Transportation (DOT), Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO), transit agencies, or local governments were eligible to submit these requests to their member of Congress.  The following four projects were included in H.R. 3684 for PA-17:

  • Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Carnegie PNR Expansion Project ($9,699,200)
  • PennDOT’s McKees Rocks Bridge Project ($5,000,000)
  • Moon Transportation Authority (MTA)’s Market Place District Improvements project ($3,100,800)
  • PennDOT’s Kittanning Pike Flood Control project ($2,200,000)

Lamb also served as the lead or co-lead on the introduction of multiple bipartisan bills, parts of which were included in H.R. 3684, including:

  • PAVE Act: Provides additional funding for state Departments of Transportation, to backfill their budgets that were adversely impacted by COVID-19 so that previously planned projects can proceed;
  • Better Utilizing Infrastructure for Lasting Development (BUILD) Veterans Businesses Act: Creates a new program for veteran owned small businesses to win up to 3 percent of federal-aid highway and public transportation contracts;
  • Ending Passenger Rail Forced Arbitration Act:  Provides customers with the opportunity to waive their right to sue Amtrak in a U.S. court for any reason with the purchase of an Amtrak ticket, overturning Amtrak’s forced arbitration agreement changes and prohibiting the company from requiring forced arbitration agreements from passengers; and

Lamb also successfully fought for the inclusion of multiple provisions in the final bill, including language that:

  • Adds a Roadway Worker Protection Working Group;
  • Expands transit grants to allow community colleges, Minority Serving Institutions, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities to expand access to transit for students without cars;
  • Updates the small cargo van study amendment from last Congress to add data from safety apps and worker death and injury statistics;
  • 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 established by the bill;
  • 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 that imported buses cannot get Buy America domestic credit;
  • Closes loopholes in the accounting of domestic labor costs by amending the definition of “highly skilled labor costs” for the Buy America provisions in the bill; and
  • Requires a study on the safety performance of cargo vans in the delivery industry at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Earlier this week, the T&I Committee also passed the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act (H.R. 1915), of which Lamb is a cosponsor, with bipartisan support.  H.R. 1915 authorizes approximately $50 billion in clean water infrastructure investment over five years, through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and other municipal grant programs. 

Following passage by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, both bills now will go to the full House for consideration.  Click here to learn more about INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684).

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