Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the senior Northeastern Member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, offered a bipartisan amendment designed to restore transit funding to H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, the House's Surface Transportation Bill. As H.R. 7 is currently drafted, the 30-year-old dedicated funding stream for mass transit is eliminated, imperiling long-term funding for transit projects across the country. A vote on H.R. 7 is expected for Wednesday.
"H.R. 7, as written, presents a catastrophic prospect for every city and commuter suburb in our nation," said Nadler. "To eliminate transit's dedicated funding stream and relegate funding to the political machinations of the appropriations process is, effectively, to kill transit funding. In 1982, President Reagan raised the gas tax and added mass transit to the Highway Trust Fund. He certainly believed that mass transit deserved stable funding. It has worked well for the last three decades, and there is no reason to change it now."
Nadler's amendment is co-sponsored by Reps. Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Bob Turner (R-NY), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Michael Grimm (R-NY), John Lewis (D-GA), Michael Fitzpatrick (R- PA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Nan Hayworth (R-NY), and would restore the dedicated guaranteed funding stream for public transportation programs. It would eliminate the Alternative Transportation Account, restore the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund and its 2.86 cent funding mechanism, and redirect the $40 billion appropriation in H.R. 7 to the Highway Trust Fund to ensure that there is sufficient funding for both highways and transit. It would also move CMAQ, Ferries, Puerto Rico and Territorial Highways, and Research back into the Highway Trust Fund, consistent with current law.