Napolitano is the most senior California member and Hispanic member of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure where she currently serves as Chairwoman on the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, which oversees EPA’s Clean Water Act and US Army Corps of Engineers water programs.
On that panel, Napolitano works with the Corps, local flood control districts, and water agencies to capture more water in flood control reservoirs, which is a major issue at Santa Fe Dam in her district and the bordering Whittier Narrows Dam. In 2014 she was appointed as a conferee to finalize the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), providing more equity to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in dredging operations. She also secured important provisions for L.A. County to expand water supply, flood control, and recreation projects in the region. Napolitano supports both the Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan and improvements to the San Gabriel River with environmental restoration projects and recreational opportunities, such as bikeways, fishing, and swimming areas.
Napolitano also encourages the EPA and sanitation agencies to find ways to recycle water for irrigation use and groundwater replenishment. She closely monitors the implementation of a new Clean Water Act Stormwater Permit, ensuring affordability for L.A. County cities and residents.
In fall of 2015, Napolitano became the only California Democrat appointed to finalize the recently passed FAST Act (H.R. 22), a $305 billion 5-year transportation bill for the nation. Napolitano fought to secure more than $26 billion for California, $450 million of which going to the Los Angeles region for transit funding, benefiting Foothill Transit, LA Metro, and Metrolink. Funds will also relieve congestion, improve transit, and reduce the negative impacts her district takes on as a primary shipping corridor from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
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“Members of the subcommittee in attendance, co-chaired by Grace F. Napolitano, representative of California’s 32nd district, invited these witnesses and introduced them. The Congressmen explored the dangers of a federal government “slow to prioritize” water quality funding and asked the witnesses several questions.”
“Staying on the two-year schedule for enacting the next new WRDA is critical,” said Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resource and Environment, as she convened a hearing on past and future WRDA bills.
The bill, originally introduced by Rep. Katko and Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32), would require agencies to report a wider range of assault incidents. It would invest $125 million nationally for transit safety improvement and programs spread over five years, specifically targeting issues such as driver assaults and blind spots that directly endanger the lives of drivers, passengers and pedestrians daily.
Given the FTA’s – and Trump’s – track record in not protecting workers, Costa and ATU look to Congress to step in. It’s lobbying lawmakers to pass the Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act (HR1139/S436) by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Calif., and others.
But local members of Congress, Reps. Grace Napolitano and Linda Sanchez, want an even faster timeline and are asking Congress to funnel extra funds in to speed up the work.
When Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) asked Phil Washington what Congress could do in surface transportation reauthorization to help bring back American rail car manufacturing, Washington responded that they should give preferential treatment to mass transit manufacturers to base here in America, not just assembly but all the way down the manufacturing chain, and also enable local hire (workforce development is a key part of Washington’s plan for a L.A.-based transit manufacturing facility).
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO); Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Chair Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-IL); and Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Chair Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) and Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-AR) signed the letter. In the correspondence, the legislators pressed for two committee-related priorities to be considered in any future agreement.
“It is a partisan political attack,” said Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk), a member of the House rail subcommittee. “There is a lot of animosity.”
Napolitano, who has supported the rail project though she doesn’t like the routes and doubts it will benefit her working-class constituents, said Democrats will sue over any grant termination.