Vote YES on H.R. 749 – the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 Vote NO on the McClintock Amendment to Defund and Bankrupt Amtrak March 3, 2015 Dear Representative: On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to support H.R. 749 – the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment […]
This important legislation funds and sustains a key component of our national transportation system, and we commend Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio, Subcommittee Chairman Denham and Subcommittee Ranking Member Capuano for their leadership in crafting this bipartisan, compromise legislation. We also ask that you oppose any amendments that would compromise the integrity of the national passenger rail network, or that undermines the bipartisan compromise reached in this bill.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to oppose an amendment filed by Senator John McCain to S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act. This ideologically driven amendment, which seeks to repeal components of the Jones Act, would outsource American jobs; jeopardize our domestic shipping industry; undermine our nation’s economic, national and homeland security and has no place during a debate over energy policy.
On behalf of hundreds of thousands U.S. aviation workers, we ask that you include the House-passed Westmoreland-DeFazio amendment language in any year-end appropriations measure. This provision, included in the FY 2015 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD), simply requires the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure that the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement is implemented in full accordance with U.S. law and terms and conditions of the agreement. An identical amendment was also introduced by Senators Klobuchar (D-MN), Blunt (R-MO), Schatz (D-HI) and Moran (R-KS) and other Senators prior to consideration of the Senate FY 2015 THUD bill.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge your support for the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2014 (PRRIA) when it is considered by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee later this week. This important legislation funds and sustains a key component of our national transportation system, and we commend Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member Rahall, Subcommittee Chairman Denham and Subcommittee Ranking Member Brown for their leadership in crafting this bipartisan, compromise legislation.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to sign a bipartisan letter led by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) to federal regulators supporting the current ban on voice calls onboard commercial aircraft. In addition, this letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) urges these agencies to work collaboratively to address safety and security concerns raised by the introduction of expanded wireless capabilities before they are permitted in-flight.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I would like to express our strong support for the Invest in American Jobs Act of 2014 and thank you for your leadership on this critical issue. By strengthening and improving Buy America standards, this important legislation will ensure that investments in our nation’s transportation infrastructure will grow and sustain domestic manufacturing and the millions of jobs the sector supports.
As the Senate considers the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (H.R. 5021), I urge you to approve a final bill that ensures the Highway Trust Fund has sufficient revenue to avoid an immediate default and provides the 113th Congress an opportunity to consider a longer-term surface transportation bill. In addition, I urge you to reject a misguided amendment, expected to be offered, that would abdicate the federal responsibility to ensure a safe and modern multi-modal transportation network.
While we are pleased that the House is moving to avoid an immediate default of the Highway Trust Fund, we are extremely disappointed that the bill being considered today (H.R. 5021) is crafted in a way that will make it more likely that Congress will not consider a longer-term surface transportation bill. We find this decision difficult to understand and one that represents an abdication of responsibility to meet our nation’s most basic transportation needs, sustain economic growth, and create and maintain jobs in this still fragile economy. By extending the Highway Trust Fund to next May, this “kick the can down the road” proposal will likely result in a series of short-term extensions that undermine the ability of states to invest in transportation projects, increase business uncertainty, and impede job creation.
As the Senate considers the FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, I urge you to vote YES on the Klobuchar-Coats-Schatz-Blunt Amendment. This amendment will ensure that the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement is implemented in full accordance with U.S. law and the agreed-upon provisions in the agreement and is identical to a provision that passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week.
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