From Andrea Kiepe, Transportation For America
After over a year of delays, the US House and Senate have finally put forward competing proposals to guide America’s transportation investments into the future. The federal transportation re-authorization bill establishes the framework for allocating billions of dollars and for local transportation projects including biking lanes and trails, sidewalks, roads, bridges, public transit, and rail.
Rep. John Mica, Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, released a proposal that would cut federal transportation funding by roughly one-third and lock in that reduced level of investment over the next six years. On the other hand, the Senate’s bi-partisan proposal, while still lacking many details, maintains current funding levels plus inflation for just two years.
The difference between these two proposals is enormous. The Mica proposal could directly result in the loss of over a half million jobs nationwide. It would also damage our transportation network, which the American Society of Civil Engineers says is deteriorating and long overdue for massive repairs.
The Mica bill is a clear example of lawmaking that is pennywise and pound-foolish. The proposal takes us in the wrong direction, jeopardizing more than just construction and transit jobs – it risks damaging America’s ability to recover and prosper.
For more information about the Mica bill and how it would impact federal transportation investment, see this short series of blogs from Transportation for America Staff.