Garamendi Calls for Long Term Transportation Solutions, Votes for Must Pass Short Term Stopgap
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), the Ranking Member (leading Democrat) of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, today called on his colleagues to support H.R. 3064, the GROW AMERICA Act, introduced by Democratic leadership. He also voted for a short term extension of the Highway and Transit Trust Fund.
Based on President Obama’s GROW AMERICA Act, the House version of the bill provides six years of expanded transportation funding, providing $25 billion more per year for transportation priorities over existing levels. This includes a 26 percent boost for highways and a 76 boost for public transit over FY 2015 levels. Under the current majority, all transportation priorities and especially public transit funding have been sharply curtailed in recent years, and the GROW AMERICA Act restores needed balance and investment to our deteriorating and underfunded transportation infrastructure across all modes of travel. The GROW AMERICA Act would create more than two million new jobs.
Garamendi also voted for a short term six month Highway and Transit Trust Fund extension, the latest in a series of “kick the can down the road” short term extensions that prevent transportation investment and construction from grinding to a halt but fail to give communities and agencies the long term vision they require to prioritize and plan infrastructure improvements.
“The government that functions best is the government that prepares for the future. The GROW AMERICA Act makes a solid investment in our future transportation needs, acknowledging the reality that we are not putting enough resources behind the infrastructure that drives all aspects of our economy, from commuting to work to transporting goods. I’m proud to stand with Democratic leadership in support of the GROW AMERICA Act, and in less partisan times, H.R. 3064’s priorities would be widely acknowledged to be bipartisan and unifying,” Congressman Garamendi said.
“In the meantime, we can’t let transportation investments grind to a halt during yet another shutdown crisis. I voted for this latest short term extension of the Highway and Transit Trust Fund, because the alternative is 700,000 layoffs and 112,000 delayed roadway projects. That would be a catastrophe with devastating ripple effects across our economy,” Garamendi added. “Transportation gridlock is bad for drivers and bad for Congress. I hope we can come to the table and hammer out a longer term solution soon.”
The GROW AMERICA Act is fully paid for through the first two years by cracking down on American corporations that establish mailing addresses overseas to avoid the taxation all other American businesses accrue, a practice known as corporate tax inversion.
The Department of Transportation and American Society of Civil Engineers have determined that 28 percent of California bridges are functionally obsolete or structurally deficient and 68 percent of roads are in poor or mediocre condition.