Monday, January 26, 2009

Make Congressional Calls Now To Urge Boosting Stimulus Transit Funding

Sources report that amendments will be considered Tuesday and Wednesday by key members of the House of Representatives to consider adding between $2 and $3 billion in additional aid for transit to the stimulus bill. Overall, highway expansion will get the most of the transportation funding, and transit will get little - - and even less without the amendments and grassroots action on their behalf.

Here are the details AND, WISCONSIN, NOTE THE DAVE OBEY REFERENCE BELOW: (I called Tuesday morning: let's keep it going.)

These amendments have a real chance of passing if they can make it to the floor for a vote. But, there is pressure to keep them from reaching the floor. The amendments are attached for your reference.

The House Rules committee will vote tomorrow at 3:00 pm EST to determine whether to allow these amendments to be offered on the floor. Please call the members of the Rules committee and urge them to allow these amendments to be brought to the floor. Without these amendments, chances for bumping up transit are lost.

Decisions will be made very soon, so please make calls today. It is also important to reach out to the House leadership to let them know why accommodating transit demand is so important and why these amendments should be supported.

The appropriations committee will conference with the Senate on the final bill next week, so now is the time to reach out to them as well about the importance of transit.

House Rules Committee
***Louise M. Slaughter (202) 225-3615
Jim McGovern (202) 225-6101
Alcee L. Hastings (202) 225-1313
Doris Matsui 202.225.7163
Dennis Cardoza (202) 225-6131
Michael Arcuri (202) 225-366
Ed Perlmutter 202.225.2645

David Dreier (202) 225-2305
Lincoln-Diaz Balart (202) 225-4211
Pete Sessions (202) 225-2231
Virgnia Foxx (202) 225-2071

House Leadership:
Pelosi (202) 225-4965
Hoyer (202) 225-4131
Clyburn (202)225-3315
Van Hollen (202) 225-5341

Appropriations Committee
Olver, MA 202-225-5335
Moran, VA (202) 225-4376
Roybal-Allard, CA (202) 225-1766
Lee, CA (202) 225-2661

* Transit is the future of our nation's metropolitan regions which represent 80% of the US population. Public transit ridership has been surging over the last year, but instead of capitalizing on the public demand for more and better transit, cities are being forced to curtail service and cut jobs.

* The amendments by Reps. Fazio and Nadler should be allowed to reach the House floor for a vote. It is a chance to truly strengthen the Recovery bill, which has overlooked the economic and energy benefits of transit infrastructure which currently will only see 1% of the stimulus investment funds.

* Please allow both these amendments to be brought to the floor for a vote. These modest adjustments will result in far-reaching impact on mobility, pollution reduction, and economic stimulation in metropolitan regions.

* Discuss the transit need in your city and the fact that federal resources for transit can absolutely be spent within the timeframes set out by the bill. House leadership in particular need to hear the case for transit. The white house is pushing them to make no changes. The leadership needs to hear from the cities about why these amendments are critical.


Vic said...

Is there an identifiable transportation authority with a sensible project in the Milwaukee area that is ready to take advantage of this money?

James Rowen said...

The company that runs the Milwaukee County Transit System is quite competent - - it simply has a shortage of funding and political support by the County Executive.

The Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter train line would be operated by a transit authority that is emerging.