We applaud members of the House Committee on Appropriations and leadership on H.R. 3055 – Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2020. This bill offers vital funding for important transportation priorities and demonstrates a continued federal commitment to developing our transportation network.
As the House continues its consideration of H.R. 3055, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) urges you to support the final bill and oppose the following amendments.
Vote NO on Amendment #229 offered by Representative Woodall, which would strike section 193 of the THUD bill. This section clarifies that Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans are considered part of the non-federal share of a project’s cost. The Woodall amendment’s striking of this clarification allows the Department of Transportation (DOT) to continue to deem TIFIA loans, which are repaid with local funds, part of the federal share to transportation projects, threatening viability of important transportation infrastructure projects across the country and undermining the very purpose of the loan program.
Vote NO on Amendment #231 offered by Representative Burgess, which would reduce funding for the Essential Air Service by $50 million to match the President’s request. EAS is critical to providing access to air travel for small and rural communities throughout the country. By severely reducing funding to this program, this amendment would badly reduce travel options for millions of Americans and jeopardize thousands of aviation jobs.
Vote NO on Amendment #237 offered by Representative Perry, which would strike a provision in the bill that prohibits the FTA from requiring applicants for the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program to provide a reasonable cost estimate that exceeds a 50 percent probability of on-budget completion. Such an onerous requirement by the FTA reduces the ability of communities to compete for federal CIG funds.
Vote NO on Amendment #244 offered by Representative Grothman, Amendment #251 offered by Representative Banks and Amendment #253, offered by Representative Mitchell. These amendments would make across the board cuts to the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations accounts (Division E) by 4.6 percent, 14 percent and 3 percent, respectively. These arbitrary budget cuts would undermine needed investments in our nation’s transportation network and do a disservice to every American who relies on a safe and secure transportation system.
H.R. 3055 provides needed funding to our nation’s transportation network across all modes of transportation. We urge you to support final passage and reject the amendments that undermine the bill federal programs that it supports.
Larry I. Willis