With the Heroes Act in Republican-dominated senate limbo for over 45 days, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries has a new bill to move public infrastructure projects forward.
But House Democrats haven’t forgotten about the Heroes Act, which they are still pushing for. The legislation could pump $3.9 billion into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) which is looking at a $10 billion deficit after their fare and toll revenue was ravaged by COVID-19.
“Later on this week, we will take up the Moving Forward Act, consistent with our promise to the American people that we would fix our crumbling and broken infrastructure and transportation system and do it in a comprehensive way,” Jeffries said.
The Moving Forward Act, in the transportation committee, will focus on building new infrastructure that will meet with the demands of mitigating climate change, according to the bill. This will dedicate $1.5 trillion over the next five years to reimagining transportation across the nation on the metropolitan level by providing resources to the agencies that run them.
Congresswoman Katherine Clark struck a familiar chord with the claim that if the bill passes both houses could not only provide funding healthcare resources and operational funds for municipalities suffering financially from COVID-19 but that it will restore the physical infrastructure of the United States.
“We are presenting tangible steps to support, strengthen, and rebuild our country,” Clark said.
But the bill is no quick read with over 2,300 pages detailing who gets the money and how they can spend it. But the House Democrats are confident that this will stimulate job growth for Americans across the country.
Up to $300 billion would go toward fixing roads and bridges with the money being doled out by the Secretary of Transportation in the form of grants. These funds will be prioritized for projects that reduce road congestion and implement safety for pedestrians as well as cyclists. There will also be grants for cities with “zero death” traffic goals such as New York City and Jersey City’s Vision Zero.
But while the emissions requirements for projects to access the funds may not be popular with climate change naysayers, the requirement to use only steel and other materials manufactured in the United States just might.
Mass transit may not be the same if the research into building out a hyper-loop goes well also.
If you’re game, you can view all 2,309 pages of the Moving Forward Act here.