As the House aims to slash, tell the Senate to protect money for rail, transit & TIGER in next week’s budget vote
The two chambers of Congress at the moment are looking at very different paths for funding transportation.
The House path — though stopping short of cutting all funding by a third as proposed in the past — slashes passenger rail funding by $400 million, eliminates money for the innovative TIGER grants, and reduces the funding communities depend on for new transit projects.
Meanwhile, a Senate committee has drafted a budget that increases funding for new transit construction, keeps and expands TIGER, provides support for Amtrak and passenger rail improvements, and funds a new grant program to jumpstart progress on repairing critical bridges.
The House transportation budget is unabashedly bad, and the only way to counter it is with a strong Senate alternative.
The Senate proposal embraces the reality that communities everywhere are looking for smart ways to keep people and goods moving, promote prosperity and keep their infrastructure in good shape. The House would thwart them on every front.
The Senate budget acknowledges that Amtrak ridership is breaking records and that Americans deserve a convenient rail option. It acts to do something about the fact that we take 260 million trips each day over deficient bridges that urgently need repairs.
So let’s make sure that the Senate hears this message loud and clear: Face up to reality and pass a transportation budget that funds solutions to our problems, whether it’s fixing bridges or providing more viable ways to get around.