Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act. This legislation proposes transformational investments in our roads, bridges, transit, rail, and wastewater and drinking water infrastructure. Passing the INVEST in America Act is a step toward fulfilling many of the key priorities laid out in the American Jobs Plan by President Biden.
“The INVEST in America Act is a critical component of President Biden’s bold action plan to invest in our nation’s infrastructure while creating good-paying, American jobs and rebuilding our economy,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “I am especially pleased the bill includes several of my provisions that make significant investments in building resilient infrastructure to withstand the impacts of climate change, including wildfires and floods, while putting our country on a path toward achieving zero-emissions in the transportation sector.
“The INVEST in America Act will rebuild safe roads and bridges across the country, expand reliable public transit systems, and deliver safe drinking water to American households. This transformative infrastructure package invests in communities not only by funding local priorities but by creating jobs that will yield economic prosperity for America’s workers and their families.
“The House-passed bill also includes Member-designated project funding, including over $18.5 million I secured for Ventura County. This funding will alleviate congestion along the 101 and improve transportation options throughout our region. This will reduce pollution and result in better health outcomes for our communities. The bill will also help bolster the efficiency and safety of goods movements to crucial economic hubs, like the Port of Hueneme and other businesses in the area. Other projects focus on making our local transportation sector greener by electrifying buses and building infrastructure to support this technology. These investments today will put us on the road to a better tomorrow.”
The INVEST in America Act is a five-year, $715 billion surface transportation reauthorization and water infrastructure bill that will create good-paying jobs, invest in American workers and communities and tackle the climate crisis. This package helps meet President Biden’s vision – as laid out in the American Jobs Plan – by investing in American workers and communities of all sizes, while tackling the climate crisis head-on.
The INVEST in America Act also included several initiatives spearheaded by Congresswoman Brownley:
- The bill will make significant investments in zero emission buses, a key priority advanced by Brownley. Additionally, Brownley secured language in the Committee-passed bill to ensure all California transit agencies are eligible to apply for zero emission bus grants, and provisions to incentivize all transit agencies to make the transition to zero emission vehicles.
- The bill sets aside specific funds for local community priorities, a key priority of Brownley’s, advanced through her Support Local Transportation Act and the Surface Transportation Investment Act. Brownley secured language that will increase the sub-allocation of Surface Transportation Program funds to local communities, like Ventura County, from 55% under current law to 60% over the authorization period in the bill.
- The bill creates a new grant program specifically for local community transportation infrastructure priorities. In addition to ensuring this program was open to Ventura County and our local cities, Brownley secured language ensuring that the Port of Hueneme – a key economic driver in Ventura County – would be eligible to compete for grants under this program.
- The bill requires the Federal Highway Administration to include the Port of Hueneme – and other ports with more than $1 billion in annual cargo value – in the national multimodal freight network, language advanced through Brownley’s National Multimodal Freight Network Improvement Act.
- The bill establishes new metrics and funding set-asides for pedestrian and bike safety infrastructure, and it requires states to make more safety investments to address areas with high fatality rates among vulnerable road users, a key priority advanced by Brownley’s Safe And Friendly for the Environment (SAFE) Streets Act.
- The bill includes the Stop for School Buses Act, bipartisan legislation that Brownley co-authored, which will address significant risks to children posed when vehicles violate school bus stop signs.
- Brownley’s Climate Resilient Transportation Infrastructure Study Act, legislation to require the Department of Transportation to conduct a thorough study of climate resilient infrastructure, was included in the bill.
- Brownley worked with other Southern California Members, including Congresswoman Napolitano and Congressman Lowenthal, to include language to direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide transportation planning assistance to the Greater Los Angeles region related to the upcoming 2028 Summer Olympic, Paralympic, and Special Olympics Games.
- The bill also includes Brownley’s bi-partisan legislation, co-authored with Congressman Greg Pence, to improve the highway-railway grade crossing program to allow federal safety program funds to be used to replace functionally obsolete warning devices.
- The bill also includes Brownley’s amendment to create a Climate-Safe Infrastructure Working Group examine how to integrate scientific data regarding the projected impacts and risks of climate change into infrastructure planning, design, engineering, construction, operation, and maintenance that is funded by the Federal Government.
Additionally, the INVEST in America Act also includes $18.5 million in federal resources for several transportation projects in California’s 26th Congressional District that Brownley secured. For more information on these projects, click here.
To learn more about the INVEST in America Act, click here.
Issues: 117th Congress, Jobs, Economy, and Small Business, Transportation and Infrastructure