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DeFazio Amendment Passes House, Creates Jobs

Jan 28, 2009
Press Release

January 27, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Peter DeFazio’s (D-OR) amendment to increase transit funding in H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed the House of Representatives today. The amendment, which DeFazio coauthored with Rep. Nadler (D-NY), will increase the amount spent on transit capital by $3 billion. This will bring the total amount spent on new transit under H.R. 1 to $12 billion, which will create 33,000 new jobs and help transit systems meet steady growing demand for public transit services.

—Congressman Peter DeFazio’s (D-OR) amendment to increase transit funding in H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed the House of Representatives today. The amendment, which DeFazio coauthored with Rep. Nadler (D-NY), will increase the amount spent on transit capital by $3 billion. This will bring the total amount spent on new transit under H.R. 1 to $12 billion, which will create 33,000 new jobs and help transit systems meet steady growing demand for public transit services.

"We are loving our transit systems to death. Americans are flocking to public transit at rates not seen in half a century in the U.S. but we aren’t even maintaining past investments, let alone making upgrades to accommodate the thousands of riders that are flooding to transit. Public transit agencies across the nation have identified critical repairs on their systems that are badly needed and ready to go. They can spend this money quickly and productively to put people back to work and meet America’s transit needs," DeFazio said. "It is a smart investment as opposed to a tax cut that will be gone, with little to no benefit to the economy, in a matter of months."

The money will create jobs by allowing public transit agencies to execute some of the 10,000 bus options they currently hold. The construction of one bus creates 1,000 work hours before the bus even hits the road. It will also put people back to work by providing transit agencies with funding to build and maintain long over-due capital projects. Nationwide there are almost 800 ready-to-go transit projects worth $15.9 billion that could be put under contract within 90 days. Under the amendment, Oregon will receive approximately $18.6 million in additional transit formula funding, for a total transit funding level of $85.4 million. The bill also contains a buy American provision that requires companies that use funding under the bill to give priority to American made products like steel and concrete.

"I am pleased that this amendment passed," DeFazio said. "It will quickly put people back to work, get people to their jobs more efficiently, avoid the costs of congestion and improve our long term economic viability."

DeFazio is Chairman of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee which has jurisdiction over transit policy.

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