In Washington state, transportation means jobs. We cannot have a big league economy with little league infrastructure. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I work hard to make investments in our roads, bridges, highways and transit to relieve congestion, improve safety and spur economic growth in our communities. Businesses need to be able to trust in reliable access to markets and citizens need to be assured of their safety during daily travel. Congress recently passed a five-year transportation bill, and I pushed to make sure the bill included Northwest Washington’s transportation priorities, like robust funding for ferryboats, transit, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
I am honored to have been selected by my colleagues to be the Ranking Member, the lead Democratic member, of the Aviation Subcommittee. The work of the Subcommittee is critical to jobs and the economy in Washington state and the Second District. The Pacific Northwest is the aerospace capital of the world, and I am working hard to make sure the United States invests in our aviation future. Aviation manufacturing is a powerful economic engine, and it means jobs in Northwest Washington. I will continue to support the growth and safety of our country’s aviation industry.
Roads, Bridges, Highways and Transit
- Pushed for Northwest Washington’s transportation priorities in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST, Act, a five-year transportation bill that Congress passed in December 2015. Successes include:
- Led efforts to increase funding for our state’s ferries, because they are an extension of our highway system.
- Pushed successfully to direct funds to improve at-grade crossings and other critical freight mobility projects, because keeping the economy moving depends on safe, reliable movement of goods.
- Fought successfully to increase funding for bike trails and paths for pedestrians.
- Pushed successfully to streamline a popular transportation loan program to help midsized cities like Mountlake Terrace and Anacortes access the big-time funds they need. This provision is similar to my TIGER CUBS legislation to allow cities like Mountlake Terrace to compete for federal transportation funding on a level playing field.
- Supported efforts over a decade to rehabilitate the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal, leading to quicker ferry loading times, better links to light rail, and increased safety for pedestrians. Wrote a letter in support of the successful application for a $10 million TIGER grant.
- Following the Skagit River Bridge collapse, worked with officials at all levels of government to cut through red tape and speed up bridge repairs to keep people and commerce moving along the I-5 corridor.
- Supported federal transportation grant applications by Island Transit, Community Transit and Sound Transit to expand service.
- Pushed to secure the 777X facility in Snohomish County, protecting thousands of jobs and creating thousands more.
- Championed new pilot safety training rules to make sure that travelers are safe and pilots are trained to the highest level before getting in the cockpit.
- Championed the bipartisan provisions on certification and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016, a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration.
- Worked on a bipartisan basis to improve the FAA’s implementation of NextGen air traffic management, which will result in increased efficiency, shorter flights, and decreased emissions and fuel usage.
Ports and Maritime
- Led the charge to support changes in law so Northwest ports can move faster on water infrastructure projects (WRDDA Section 214).
- Worked on a bipartisan basis to pass the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012. Worked with Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) to pass a bipartisan bill to fund and authorize the activities of the United States Coast Guard. This bill also includes marine debris cleanup, and protections for the Coast Guard’s icebreaker fleet. Shipbuilding authorizations in the bill will lead to jobs at shipyards in Washington state.
- Cosponsored legislation to make maritime training programs affordable for all students by allowing students at maritime training institutions to take out student loans and creating maritime training institution scholarships. The Maritime Workforce Development Act passed the House of Representatives.
- Supported small shipyards like Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes by championing grants to help increase productivity and create jobs.
- Pushed to include higher standards for oil tankers in the FAST Act. The bill requires improvements to the caps on older tank cars to reduce pressure and the potential for explosion in case of an accident.
- Led the Washington state delegation in pushing for new rules to improve the safety standards for rail cars carrying crude oil.
- Fought hard to pass a bill to strengthen pipeline safety regulations after a deadly pipeline explosion occurred in Bellingham in 2002, and passed updates to strengthen the 2002 bill in 2006 and 2011.