Garamendi Votes to Prevent Transportation Shutdown
Stopgap legislation fails to meet nation’s infrastructure needs
but prevents shutdown for local projects and prevents mass layoffs
WASHINGTON, DC –Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03), a Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, voted for H.R. 5021, a bipartisan bill that provides needed funding to continue transportation programs through May of 2015. The legislation is expected to prevent the Highway and Transit Trust Fund from going bankrupt in a few short weeks, which could lead to approximately 700,000 layoffs and delay 112,000 roadway projects nationally.
“This bipartisan legislation will keep our transportation system running, our businesses open, and American workers on the job. It earned my support because it defuses an immediate crisis of a transportation shutdown and gives us time to work on a needed multiyear transportation bill,” said Congressman Garamendi.
H.R. 5021 passed the House by a vote of 367-55. A similar measure has been approved by a Senate committee, but it has not been voted on in the full Senate yet.
According to a report from the White House Council of Economic Advisors, a transportation shutdown would jeopardize 73,572 jobs and 5,692 highway and transit projects in California alone. The state has 172,201 miles of public roads, 34 percent of which are in poor condition. Because of sub-par road conditions, the average Sacramento area driver pays $658 more in vehicle maintenance, the average Concord area driver $623, and the average San Francisco area motorist pays an extra $782.
“The well-being of our transportation system is extremely important for our collective and personal well-being. Parents driving their children to school depend on its safety. Commuters on the Capitol Corridor Amtrak line depend on its reliability. Small business owners and manufacturers shipping their innovative products around the world depend on its speed. And yet, our infrastructure received a D+ rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers in their latest report. Additionally, the short funding bills make construction projects tougher and more expensive for local transportation agencies and businesses,” said Garamendi. “Leaders in business, labor, academia, and transportation all are calling on Congress to produce a multi-year transportation bill that makes the critical investments to fix our crumbling infrastructure. It is imperative that we solve this problem before the end of this year, so more people can Make It In America.”
Garamendi has cosponsored the GROW AMERICA Act, a bipartisan four-year transportation bill that mirrors the Administration’s proposal to invest in a modern transportation infrastructure and will create more than a million jobs.