Congressman Nadler Floor Statement in Support of H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act
Washington, July 1, 2021
Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following statement, as prepared, on the House floor in support of H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act:
“I rise today in support of the INVEST in America Act, a transformational bill that will deliver nearly $550 billion for urgently needed investments in our nation’s transit, rail, bridges, roads, and water infrastructure.
“For too long, Congress has failed to adequately fund our infrastructure, leaving our country with infrequent and unreliable transit services, congested roads, failing sewer systems, lead in our pipes, and unsafe bridges. The consequences of this failure are clear, with the American Society of Civil Engineers giving our nation’s public transit infrastructure a grade of D-. Congress has also done far too little to rectify the great urban planning mistakes of our nation’s past, including the fragmentation of majority-minority communities and failing to alleviate environmental injustice. I applaud Chairman Peter DeFazio for addressing these critical issues by advancing a bill that makes a historic, forward-thinking investment in transportation infrastructure while targeting a path towards zero emissions in the transportation sector, improving drinking water infrastructure, including programs to address transit deserts and disconnected communities, and investing in resilient infrastructure and pre-disaster mitigation.
“As New York continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, this vital funding–including $109 billion for public transit and $95 billion for passenger and freight rail–will help our state improve transit equity, create jobs, modernize our infrastructure, and reduce carbon pollution. I am proud that the INVEST in America Act provides an estimated $23.7 billion in direct aid for New York State over five years. This funding will help New York City rebuild and reimagine its transportation infrastructure while helping to ensure that no New Yorkers are left behind. New York will receive approximately $12 billion in formula funds, an approximately 59 percent increase over the 2015 surface transportation reauthorization bill. The bill includes dramatic increases in funding for programs like the Capital Investment Program (CIG), which will receive $21.5 billion and can be used to finally begin construction of the Gateway Project and other projects of regional significance. I am proud that it also includes nearly $10 million that I secured for community-based projects for parks in New York’s 10th Congressional District. This funding will allow Riverside Park and The High Line to improve pedestrian safety and access in and around the parks.
“I am grateful to Chairman Peter DeFazio for including so many of my proposals in this bill. I am proud to have fought to provide urgently needed resources for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) by improving antiquated federal funding formulas that have accelerated the steep decline in New York’s share of the overall federal investment in transit over the past 30 years. While I am disappointed the bill fails to provide federal support for public transit operations, I am proud that the funding will help lower families' transportation costs, drive economic opportunity, and reduce carbon emissions.
“I am also proud that the bill includes more than $9 billion for the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program, which I helped create as a Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. This program will continue to support projects of critical importance to the New York metropolitan area like the Cross Harbor Freight Program, Gateway Project, and the Second Avenue Subway. Additionally, I am grateful that my provisions to ensure Transit Oriented Development and infrastructure reuse projects have equitable access to federal funding opportunities were included in the bill. These projects have the potential to ensure that rail stations and underused infrastructure serve as hubs for investments to address affordability of housing, sustainable communities, job creation, and economic growth.
“Finally, I am grateful to my colleagues for voting to include three of my amendments in the bill. The first two amendments that I co-led with Representative Espaillat will give New York City direct access to a new billion-dollar allocation of federal funds and streamline the delivery of dozens of vital transportation projects across the city. The third amendment I co-led with Representatives Troy Carter and Fitzpatrick will end the transportation of horses to slaughter nationwide in order to save our nation’s equines from this inhumane fate.
“Through the passage of this legislation, the House has put key pieces of President Biden’s bold infrastructure vision–The American Jobs Plan–into text. As our nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the INVEST in America Act will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, restore America’s competitiveness in the global economy, and tackle the climate crisis head-on by rebuilding and reimagining infrastructure in the U.S. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation. Let this be a first step towards more robust investments in the child and elder care, climate resiliency, education, and health care required for our communities to build back better.”
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