On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to vote no on all amendments that cut transportation funding to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2011, which will be considered today on the House floor.
At this time of catastrophic unemployment, when there are five people seeking work for every available job, it is unconscionable to cut critical funding for America’s transportation programs. Transportation investment is among the most effective job creating mechanisms and the funding in this bill is necessary for the nation to continue recovering from the recession. Accordingly, we oppose all amendments that either cut transportation funding across-the-board or target specific transportation investment or safety programs for reduction.
We urge you to vote against these amendments:
• Latham Amendment
This amendment would curtail infrastructure investment, derail our nation’s nascent high speed rail efforts and make dangerous cuts in safety oversight. Such an effort to uniformly dismantle our nation’s transportation system and undercut our safety must be opposed.
• Kirkpatrick Amendment
This amendment would make an across-the-board cut of 5 percent to the bill, significantly undermining both the critical investment and safety goals of the legislation. This draconian cut will jeopardize job creation at precisely the wrong time.
• Peters, Adler, Himes and Welch Amendment
This would cut funding for a number of critical safety and recovery programs, including TIGER grants, high speed rail and positive train control technology (PTC). Any cuts to these programs will stunt recovery efforts and endanger railroad safety and must be opposed.
• Bachmann Amendment
This amendment is an effort to dismantle Amtrak and would immediately eliminate 20,000 jobs. This attack on passenger rail, meant to undermine recent investment in the system, is an ideologically motivated endeavor with dire consequences for both our transportation system and unemployment rate.
Transportation serves as the backbone of our nation’s economy and is critical to its recovery. I urge you to vote no on these amendments.