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Napolitano Calls for Robust Infrastructure Bill for San Gabriel Valley & Nation Ahead of Trump’s First State of the Union Address

January 30, 2018
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC) Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-El Monte) called for a robust infrastructure bill for the San Gabriel Valley and the nation, as meager details of President Trump’s infrastructure plan have been released, in advance of his first State of the Union address.

“Congress must pass a bipartisan, job-creating infrastructure bill that includes a tangible funding stream, with real money, in order to pay for much-needed projects in our region and across the country without taking away from anything else,” Napolitano said. “We need to invest in improving the everyday commute by expanding our highways, increasing transit options, and repairing dilapidated bridges and roads. We must make it easier and safer to move goods to market and increase business productivity. If President Trump is going to call for even an iota of private investment, then he needs to know we are not going to privatize our roads or public rail infrastructure. No more tolls; our roads are not for sale.”

President Trump’s principles for an infrastructure bill, which were recently made public have been perplexing, raising questions about how much increased funding he is actually proposing, if the funds will be distributed fairly, and whether his proposal’s true intention is to destroy environmental laws that protect clean water and clean air in our communities.

“I am concerned with some of the details that have been released so far regarding President Trump’s infrastructure plan,” Napolitano continued. “What is confusing is that much of it is repacked versions of existing programs. The new Infrastructure Incentives Initiative is the same as the existing Obama TIGER program, which ironically Trump zeroes out funding for in his budget. He also plans to roll back major environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the NEPA process, which gives local residents a say on construction projects in their communities. Lastly, the majority of current federal transportation and infrastructure funding is formula funding distributed in an effort to make sure each state receives its fair share, but Trump’s infrastructure plan gives most of the authority for decisions about funding to himself and his political appointees.”

Echoing the region’s need for a comprehensive infrastructure bill was Napolitano’s State of the Union guest, Doran J. Barnes. Mr. Barnes is the former president of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), a resident of West Covina, and currently serves as Executive Director of Foothill Transit, the primary transit provider in the San Gabriel Valley.

“Our nation’s transportation infrastructure is our country’s economic backbone,” said Mr. Barnes. “Bipartisan efforts for a federal infrastructure bill inspire hope as we work together to ensure investment in public transportation. Its impact on our region would be immediate, stimulating the economy, creating opportunity and jobs, and reducing the chokehold traffic has on our mobility.”

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