Washington, DC – Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement in support of the Fiscal Year 2021 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill:
“We applaud the House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Lowey and Subcommittee Chairman Price for their leadership in crafting an appropriations bill that funds important aspects of our transportation system and preserves and protects good jobs at this critical time in our nation’s history.
“In addition to historic funding levels in the base bill, the committee rightfully recognized the financial pain to our transportation network and its dedicated frontline workforce caused by the coronavirus pandemic. By providing $26 billion in emergency funding for a number of DOT programs, this bill will help ensure the recovery of our transportation sector once this crisis is behind us, and help working families weather the pandemic.
“A number of TTD priorities received this emergency funding, including:
- $5 billion for transit Capital Investment Grant Program
- $5 billion for rail infrastructure and safety improvements
- $8 billion for Amtrak, including a provision that prohibits changes to services and routes and prevents employee furloughs
- $3 billion for the BUILD grants to fund multi-modal projects of regional significance
- $2.5 billion for the FAA Airport Improvement Program
- $500 million for FAA Facilities and Equipment
- $1 billion for port infrastructure improvements
“We are also pleased that lawmakers prioritized worker safety in this bill by including an amendment requiring passengers and crew members on an aircraft, Amtrak, or mass transit vehicle to wear a mask or protective covering while on board. This legislation also includes dedicated funding for a national transit frontline worker training program and requires, for the first time, public transit agencies to report all assaults on transit operators to the FTA.
“As the bill moves to the floor for consideration, we urge Congress to reject anti-worker riders and amendments aimed at undermining critical transportation initiatives or labor provisions. We urge lawmakers to support only those amendments that would strengthen the safety and efficiency of our national transportation network and ensure our transportation system remains a hub of good, middle-class jobs.”