Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, issued this statement on the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (STRRA):
“Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders on both sides of the aisle have proven today that it is still possible in Washington to work together in advancing legislation that is good for the country.
“We applaud the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for unanimously approving a bill that will help put Americans back to work and place us on a more sustainable path to finally upgrading and modernizing our nation’s transit systems, highways, bridges and multi-modal freight network.
“One word of caution: while this bill represents an important step forward, its funding levels are inadequate to meet the nation’s mounting needs. We urge Congress and the Administration to identify a long-term revenue stream that provides the several billion dollars needed to grow the program. We will also pursue improvements to the provisions in the bill that address Public-Private Partnerships, or P3s.
“By addressing transit driver assault, raising Buy American standards and amending the wrongheaded hair testing mandates that were included in the Senate bill, STRRA makes important improvements to our nation’s surface transportation systems that will positively impact the men and women who keep them running. We are also pleased the bill includes a compromise extension of the Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline to ensure that rail carriers are not forced to shut down service at year’s end.
“We commend Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio and the members of the committee for their bipartisan cooperation today. The House must now pass this measure and work with the Senate to approve final legislation that will create good jobs, expand public transit, reduce congestion on our overcrowded highways, improve safety for our nation’s transit drivers and passengers, and provide funding certainty needed to improve and modernize our nation’s surface transportation systems.”
CONGRESS SHOULD SUPPORT SURFACE TRANSPORTATION REAUTHORIZATION AND REFORM ACT OF 2015 (183kb)