Larsen: Robust Transportation and Infrastructure Bill Key to COVID-19 Recovery, Moving Economy Forward
The Moving Forward Act Passed the House, 233 to 188
Washington, D.C., July 1, 2020
The House of Representatives passed H.R.2, the Moving Forward Act, a comprehensive, long-term package that invests more than $1.5 trillion in America’s transportation and infrastructure over the next five years.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, a comprehensive, long-term package that invests more than $1.5 trillion in America’s transportation and infrastructure over the next five years. Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, championed several important provisions in the final bill to rebuild and revitalize Washington state’s transportation and infrastructure, and jumpstart post-COVID-19 economic recovery in the Pacific Northwest. The bill passed the House by a final vote of 233 to 188.
“Robust federal investment in Washington state’s transportation and infrastructure means jobs and is key to economic recovery. This comprehensive bill is part of a long-term vision to put Americans back to work, jumpstart the economy and make the transportation network smarter, safer and greener,” said Larsen.
The bill includes the INVEST in America Act, a nearly $500 billion investment in surface transportation Larsen helped shepherd through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last month. If enacted, the bill will invest nearly $7 billion over the next five years in Washington state’s transportation network, including nearly $5 billion in highway funding and more than $2 billion in transit funding.
“Although this bill significantly increases surface transportation funding, it falls short in helping medium-sized cities like Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and Oak Harbor in my district. I will continue to push for my legislation, the BUILD UP Act, to ensure cities in Northwest Washington and across the country can access vital federal funding to address their critical infrastructure needs,” said Larsen.
“Thank you to Representative Larsen for his leadership in moving the Moving Forward Act forward,” said Washington State Department of Transportation Secretary Roger Millar. “The funding is critical for us to maintain our state’s infrastructure which supports our economy and jobs while also helping us move to a carbon neutral transportation system.”
The Moving Forward Act also incorporates several of Larsen’s priorities:
Combatting Climate Change and Improving Resiliency
“The future of U.S. transportation and infrastructure must be greener and cleaner. This bill advances 21st-century clean transportation initiatives to build resiliency, foster clean fuel infrastructure, and promote zero-emission technologies and multi-modal transportation, including pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure. The bill includes my provision creating a new zero- and reduced-emission ferries grant program,” said Larsen.
"The League of American Bicyclists thanks Representative Larsen for his continued leadership to promote and encourage bicycling and walking by making active transportation safer and more accessible," said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. "In his unwavering support of the Transportation Alternatives program and by securing a full time Bicycle and Pedestrian staff position for every state Department of Transportation, Rep. Larsen is ensuring every state has the capacity and opportunity to follow the lead of Washington State, which has historically led the League's Bicycle Friendly State rankings, and provide people with better biking and walking infrastructure."
"Congressman Larsen is a long-time champion for creating safe routes to school, work, and neighborhood destinations. The Safe Routes Partnership is grateful for his leadership on securing increased funding and policy improvements for the Transportation Alternatives Program, which makes biking and walking safer for people in the second district of Washington and around the country,” said Cassandra Isidro, executive director, Safe Routes Partnership.
“ABB thanks Congressman Larsen for working to include his amendment to create a low and zero emission passenger ferry program in the Moving Forward Act,” said Ed Schwarz, Vice President, ABB Marine and Ports. “This legislation will help ferry operators adopt the newest technology, which can reduce their operating costs and emissions. Ferries are among the vessels that are leading the way in transitioning the marine sector to reduced emission solutions and this amendment will ensure more Americans see these benefits in their communities.”
Future of Aviation and Aerospace
“As Chair of the Aviation Subcommittee, my priorities for this Congress are ensuring safety, fostering innovation in national airspace, improving U.S. competitiveness in the global market and enhancing the air travel experience for the flying public. H.R.2 incorporates many of these goals,” said Larsen.
The Moving Forward Act provides a much-needed increase to the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and additional supplemental funding for airports, like Paine Field and Bellingham International Airport in the Second District, dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill makes considerable investments in making U.S. aviation greener and cleaner. It authorizes $200 million for an Alternative Fuel and Low Emissions Aviation Technology Program to develop, demonstrate or apply low-emission aviation technologies, and funds the FAA’s Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment. It also includes Larsen’s bill, the National Evaluation of Aviation and Aerospace Solutions to Climate Change Act, directing the U.S. Department of Transportation to create a database of and report on climate change mitigation efforts in aviation and aerospace.
Expanding Transit Systems
“When I talk with transportation stakeholders and community leaders in the Second District, I hear about the issues they face every day. This bill invests nearly $7 billion in Washington state’s transportation system to boost economic recovery and improve safety, efficiency and accessibility. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Bus Caucus, I worked to significantly increase federal funding for bus transit, including low-emission buses, in the bill. It also includes a bipartisan provision I introduced to promote career opportunities and improve diversity in the transportation workforce,” said Larsen.
“On behalf of The Bus Coalition (TBC) and its members, I applaud the historic level of bus transit funding included in the Moving Forward Act. We are especially grateful to Congressman Larsen who, as Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Bus Caucus, has been a true champion for bus transit systems in Congress. We know how hard he worked with Chair DeFazio and other leaders in Congress to ensure bus transit needs were adequately addressed in the bill. The funds secured for bus programs in the Moving Forward Act will go a long way toward upgrading and replacing our aging and shrinking bus fleets, boost economic growth and help enhance bus service in communities across the country,” said The Bus Coalition President Bill Carpenter.
"Too often maritime jobs --ones providing a union wage and benefits-- are left in the shadows unnoticed,” said Richard Berkowitz, Vice President of Pacific Operations, Transportation Institute. “These jobs offer a credentialed career path with free education. Representative Larsen's amendment to the Infrastructure bill will enable more outreach about these careers and we look forward to more Washingtonians taking advantage of these great opportunities."
“Chairman DeFazio, Congressman Larsen and the entire committee have produced a solid piece of legislation that authorizes a real and significant increase in funding for our roads and bridges, as well as a broad range of policies to improve highway safety,” said American Trucking Association President and CEO Chris Spear. “ATA supports this bill and appreciates the hard work of the committee members and staff, and we look forward to working with Congress to further improve this important bill as it continues through the process, and securing bipartisan support for an infrastructure investment package that provides real money for our roads and bridges.”
Investment in 5G Technology
“You cannot have a big-league economy with little league infrastructure. That is as true for bridges, highways and transit as it is for disruptive new technologies, including 5G. This bill includes provisions I championed to modernize the government’s information technology systems and strengthen the military’s telecommunications infrastructure,” said Larsen.
Bridging the Digital Divide
“The digital divide is not a new concern, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made evident the urgency to ensure all communities, including rural and low-income areas, have access to reliable internet. The Moving Forward Act takes a major step toward closing the digital divide by delivering affordable high-speed broadband internet to all corners of the country,” said Larsen.
“It is also clear from conversations with residents, stakeholders and local officials that there is not enough affordable housing in Northwest Washington. This legislation includes investments to help create or preserve 1.8 million affordable homes nationwide, support local affordable housing solutions and expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which helps Washingtonians afford to work and live in their communities.
“The Senate must pass this bill to move the economy forward and strengthen the nation’s transportation and infrastructure,” said Larsen.
For a summary of the Moving Forward Act, click here.