Larson Votes in Favor of Long-Term Infrastructure Bill
Washington – “Infrastructure is neither Democratic nor Republican, it’s American, which is why I am proud that Congress has come together in a bipartisan manner to vote to put the nation back to work,” said Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01), who hosted House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) in the First District last July to examine the region’s infrastructure challenges, “I commend Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio on their efforts to craft a long-term transportation bill. Our nation’s highways, bridges, and transit systems have gone neglected for too long, and this bill will meaningfully address our enormous infrastructure challenges. If we want to focus on putting America back to work, rebuilding its infrastructure continues to be the primary way of how we do it.”
The FAST Act will provide Connecticut with more than $3.5 billion in funding for transportation projects over the next five years – a $310 million increase in federal support. This includes $2.7 billion for highways and $900 million in transit funding. Federal funds account for over half of Connecticut’s capital expenditures on transportation and the increased funding in this bill will allow our state to make crucial investments in infrastructure that will keep our economy moving forward.
“This is a positive step, but more needs to be done. I would have preferred higher funding levels, but the FAST Act is a great improvement over the stopgap measures and short-term patches of the past. While it provides five years of funding, I am troubled by some of the pay-fors, particularly the provision requiring the IRS to use private debt collectors. I am also disappointed that it lacks the means to maintain sustainable, long-term funding beyond the five-year duration of the bill. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to adopt a sensible funding mechanism that fully addresses the infrastructure needs of the nation. The United States should be second to none when it comes to our infrastructure.”
Today, the House passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (H.R. 22) by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 359 – 65. The FAST Act reauthorizes federal transportation programs through the year 2020 and increases the overall funding levels. It is the first long-term transportation bill Congress has passed since 2005. It also includes the renewal of the Export-Import Bank through the 2019 Fiscal Year, which passed the House in October through a rare discharge petition.