Garamendi Secures Every California Democrat’s Support for Transportation Emergency Relief Funds Availability Act
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) announced that all 45 members of California’s Democratic Congressional Delegation have cosponsored his “Transportation Emergency Relief Funds Availability Act” (H.R.3193), which would safeguard federal funding for disaster-recovery transportation projects statewide.
“California’s Democratic Congressional Delegation is united in stopping the Trump Administration from clawing back disaster-recovery funding for highway and transportation projects across our state,” said Congressman Garamendi. “Californians are facing increasingly frequent and severe floods and wildfires due to climate change. They deserve nothing less than the full-throated support of their federal government, and that’s exactly what our bill ensures. I thank my Democratic colleagues for their support and look forwarding to working with them to pass this important bill for California into law.”
Current U.S. Department of Transportation regulations allow the federal government to claw back “emergency relief” funding for highway and public transportation projects if those projects do not reach construction within two fiscal years of being awarded federal funds. In January 2019, the Federal Highway Administration denied the California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans) request for 1-year extensions for 66 out of 73 projects statewide. During previous administrations, such 1-year extensions were routinely granted.
The “Transportation Emergency Relief Funds Availability Act” (H.R.3193) would repeal the current 2-year regulatory deadline and provide up to 6 years for transportation projects funded through an Emergency Relief Program to advance to construction. The new 6-year deadline would start following the date on which a disaster was declared by the respective state’s governor or the president.
The “Transportation Emergency Relief Funds Availability Act” (H.R.3193) is supported by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), California State Association of Counties, and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES).
A copy of the Federal Highway Administration’s January 31, 2019, letter to Caltrans Director Berman is available here.
A copy of the 73 “Emergency Relief” funded projects in California is available here.
The California Democratic Congressional Delegation cosponsoring Congressman Garamendi’s bill (H.R.3193) consists of the following Representatives. As a general practice, the Speaker of the House does not cosponsor legislation: