Rep. Napolitano Votes against Flawed Republican Transportation Bill
(Washington, D.C.) Early this morning, during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano voted against the Republican version of Congress’s multi-year surface transportation funding bill, H.R. 7, because the bill was underfunded and contained dozens of controversial “poison pill” amendments.
“Our crumbling highways, bridges, railroads, and airports are badly overdue for repairs,” Napolitano said. “States are cutting back on new projects and our national transportation system is in danger of becoming obsolete. Federal transportation funding could strengthen our economy and put millions of Americans back to work, but this bill is a band-aid that fails to make the necessary investments at a time when our economy needs them most.
“This bill is also heavily loaded with dozens of controversial ‘poison pill’ amendments, including attacks on environmental regulations, drastic cuts to Amtrak, and the privatization of tax-payer funded roadways. These distractions will not bring us the economic growth we need. We should instead focus our energy on providing the critical transportation funding that will create jobs and support economic growth for years to come.”
Napolitano’s Amendments Target Railroad Safety, Harbor Fund Parity
Napolitano offered an amendment to the bill that would have removed sections delaying the implementation of collision-avoidance positive train control technology on rail lines, a requirement mandated in 2008 after a Metrolink accident in Chatsworth, California killed 25 people. This amendment was rejected.
Napolitano’s second amendment would have added parity to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund by requiring that all ports be allowed to use 25% of their payments to the fund for the maintenance of their own ports. Currently the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach get back less than 1% of the funding they contribute to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. This amendment was also not included.
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