WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 7, 2011) Today, Chairman John Mica (R-FL) released an outline for the six-year transportation reauthorization bill as proposed by the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The following is a statement from BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster:
“The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unveiled an outline of their surface transportation bill that cuts current highway and mass transit funding by one-third. This dramatic reduction is a grave mistake at a time when our nation’s leaders must work harder than ever to spur job growth – not stop it dead in its tracks.
“Even at current funding levels, our transportation infrastructure is in dire need of repair. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that we must invest $77 billion just to bring America’s existing transit system into a state of good repair. Meanwhile, the U.S. has sent over $10 billion overseas to purchase this important equipment in the last six years, instead of investing that money here and making that equipment here at home.
“The BlueGreen Alliance has called for the passage of a comprehensive transportation bill to build a more efficient 21st century infrastructure that will create good, U.S. jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Right now, America is facing a jobs deficit, with millions of our construction, manufacturing, and service workers either underemployed or out of work. Investing in our nation’s roads, bridges, tunnels, rail, transit, and better biking and walking infrastructure can create millions of jobs in these sectors. Our Clean Transportation Manufacturing Action Plan investment scenario would result in 3.7 million jobs over the course of six years – 600,000 alone in the manufacturing sector.
“Cutting investments from the transportation reauthorization bill right now would result in further deterioration of our nation’s infrastructure with more jobs lost while also ensuring that America is not a competitor in the 21st century economy.
“Now, more than ever, we must invest in America and close the jobs gap.”