WASHINGTON—Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued this statement after the House Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Subcommittee approved its fiscal year 2024 THUD spending bill:
“The proposed fiscal year 2024 THUD spending bill would be disastrous for America’s transportation systems, passengers, and workers. As the nation’s largest transportation labor federation, we cannot ignore the likely loss of thousands of construction, operations, and maintenance sector jobs.
“The Republicans’ devastating funding cuts to public transit, passenger rail, federal grant programs, and other critical infrastructure projects would significantly hamstring the progress of the historic investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“In 2021, Congress made a promise to the American people that we would finally get our transportation infrastructure back on track after decades of neglect. Now, Republican leadership is pulling the rug out from under their own constituents who will suffer the economic and quality-of-life impacts of these cuts.
“At the precise time that we are attempting the largest-ever expansion of our national passenger rail network, the 64% cut to Amtrak’s funding would shrink their budget to the level it was a decade ago and lead to significant layoffs and service cuts.
“Similarly, as cities are scaling up public transportation efforts, this bill would cut $2.2 billion in desperately-needed transit funding, reducing that investment to more than 50 percent below Congressionally enacted levels for FY 23.
“Other cuts, including zeroing out the RAISE and MEGA grant programs, would slash billions from construction projects in urban and rural communities alike. Gutting these programs would halt the creation of good union jobs in the communities where those projects are built.
“We commend the inclusion of much-needed investments to support the hiring and training of new air traffic controllers and Congress’ continued support of the Maritime and Tanker Security Programs. However, these investments are simply not enough to offset the consequences for other programs; the needs of our entire transportation and infrastructure network should not be pitted against one another.
“Simply put: this bill must meet the promise Congress made to the American people by fully funding all of our transportation needs before it’s brought to a vote before the full Committee and the House floor. As always, we stand ready to work with Congress to ensure that appropriations bills provide our transportation systems with the funding necessary to deliver reliable service for passengers, good jobs for workers, and economic growth for local communities.”