Congressman García Applauds Passage in Committee of the INVEST in America Act
WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García, a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, applauded the passage of the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act out of the committee early this morning. The $547 billion five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill directs federal investments in roads, bridges, transit, and rail and is a crucial element of President Biden’s plan to reimagine national transportation policies to confront the climate crisis and invest in American workers and frontline communities.
Congressman García issued the following statement regarding the bill’s passage out of committee:
“The INVEST in America Act is an ambitious package that will bring our nation’s infrastructure into the 21st century and is a massive leap forward in our urgent efforts to address the climate crisis. I’m proud that many of my priorities are included in this bill, including record investments in public transit and passenger rail, new requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the advancement of equitable transit-oriented development, and the creation of thousands of good paying, union jobs. However, this bill could have been even bolder.
“Transportation policy is unequivocally a matter of social justice and equity. Our built environment has been used to segregate Black and Brown communities and deprive working people from opportunities and jobs for decades. That’s why I worked with the Sierra Club and The Green New Deal Network-- including Sunrise Movement, Center for Popular Democracy, MoveOn, Greenpeace US, and the Working Families Party, among others -- on amendments to begin to undo decades of racially motivated disinvestment and environmental injustice inflicted on frontline communities. While not all of my amendments were included in this stage of the process, I’m heartened that Chairman DeFazio committed to working with me and stakeholders to tackle the dueling crises of chronic, inequitable disinvestment and our warming climate with the boldness and size of investment they will require.
“As written, the INVEST in America Act is by far the boldest, greenest, and most progressive surface bill our committee has ever advanced and we should be proud to take it to the floor later this month.”
The INVEST in America Act includes the following policies and priorities of Congressman García:
- Raising the minimum insurance requirement for motor carriers for the first time since the 1980’s, so that families of loved ones involved in crashes with trucks aren’t left with crippling medical bill.
- Bipartisan “Fix-it-First” provisions with Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8) that prioritize the maintenance of existing roads over building new ones and consider long-term lifecycle costs for new construction before building new roads.
- Language from Congressman García’s legislation on equitable transit-oriented development that creates a Transit-Supportive Communities Office and provisions to strengthen affordable housing requirements in transit-oriented development.
- The creation of a National Frontline Transit Workforce Development Center from legislation Congressman García led with Reps. Anthony Brown and Jamie Raskin; and
- Language from Congressman García’s Improving Access to Services and Jobs bills to include an Access Performance Metric in the INVEST Act to complement the Greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements and investments.
The following Member Designated Project requests from Congressman García to improve transportation access in the 4th District of Illinois were also included in the legislation:
- City of Chicago Arterial Resurfacing - $9,357,677
- 34th Street Modernization in Berwyn, Illinois - $5,022,323
- Blue Line’s Belmont Station Accessibility Design - $3,300,000
- City of Chicago Traffic Signal Modernization - $1,350,000
- PACE – Bus Rapid Transit Signal Prioritization along Cermak Rd. and Harlem Ave - $900,000