Washington, DC – Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and Shari Semelsberger, secretary-treasurer of TTD, issue this statement in response to the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the advancement of the Build Back Better Act in the House of Representatives:
Tonight is a historic night for millions of transportation workers across America. By sending H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to President Biden’s desk for a signature, and advancing the rule on H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, Congress has taken serious steps towards answering the decades-long call by TTD and our 33 affiliated unions to bring America’s transportation infrastructure squarely into the 21st Century, to sustain and create millions of good union jobs, and to expand safety and other worker protections across all modes of transportation.
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $550 billion in new across-the-board infrastructure spending – the biggest investment of its kind in the history of our nation, and one that is long overdue. Importantly, the bill reauthorizes our highway, transit, and passenger rail programs for an additional five years, finally putting an end to the irresponsible pattern of short-term extensions authorized by Congress since the FAST Act’s expiration in 2020. It also provides historic levels of funding for ports and waterways, airports, and air traffic control facilities, which, along with other unmet infrastructure needs addressed in the bill, will finally help expand and modernize our entire transportation network.
Of particular importance to our affiliated unions, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act also addresses a number of key labor priorities around worker safety across multiple modes, transit workforce training and development, and the expansion of new and existing labor protections including reformed domestic content rules and local hire provisions.
Included in the Build Back Better Act are not only billions in additional investments in transportation, but also labor-supported provisions that will help lower health care costs, increase affordable housing, and provide stronger labor standards and enforcement that are absolutely essential to working people in this country. With a final vote on the Build Back Better Act now pending in the House, we strongly urge all Representatives to show their full support for this legislation.
We thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for their leadership and the members of Congress who demonstrated that they heard our call by voting in favor of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and again, urge strong support for the Build Back Better Act.