Reps. DeFazio, Norton and Payne introduce INVEST in America Act to modernize infrastructure

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U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit; and Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, introduced a $547 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill on Friday.

The “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America” (INVEST in America) Act would create a new approach to federal transportation policy by emphasizing road and bridge repairs and making record investments in passenger, rail, public transit, cycling and walking infrastructure and zero-emission options while building safer, more connected communities, the lawmakers said.

The Transportation Committee will consider the bill during a markup on Wednesday, June 9.

“The benefits of transformative investments in our infrastructure are far-ranging: we can create and sustain good-paying jobs, many of which don’t require a college degree, restore our global competitiveness, tackle climate change head-on, and improve the lives of all Americans through modern infrastructure that emphasizes mobility and access, and spurs our country’s long-term economic growth,” DeFazio said. “The INVEST in America Act puts a core piece of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan into legislative text—seizing this once-in-a-generation opportunity to move our transportation planning out of the 1950s and toward our clean energy future.”

The bill includes strong Buy America provisions and labor protections, ensuring the work done is fueled by American workers, manufacturing, and ingenuity, with targeted investments in rural and underserved communities.

“As chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, I believe the country today requires a new and more comprehensive approach well beyond our prior bills,” Norton said. “For example, this bill takes on entirely new issues never before considered, such as climate change and multi-modal access in and through cities and towns.”

The bill proposes spending $343 billion on roads, bridges, and safety, including $4 billion in electric vehicle charging infrastructure; $95 billion on passenger and light rail, including a tripling of funds to Amtrak; and $109 billion on transit.

“The INVEST in America Act will bring America’s aging rail infrastructure into the 21st century,” Payne said. “It provides $95 billion to upgrade intercity passenger rail systems and fund critical infrastructure projects, such as the Gateway Program. This investment in our nation’s future will encourage more Americans to use rail transportation, reduce traffic congestion, lower carbon emissions, and reduce the effects of climate change.”