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Local Leaders Endorse DeFazio’s INVEST in America Act

Jun 22, 2020
Press Release
Transformative legislation will invest nearly $500 billion in highways, transit, rail, bike and pedestrian safety, and carbon pollution reduction

Local leaders from across Southwest Oregon today endorsed Chair Peter DeFazio’s transformative infrastructure bill, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act.

“The INVEST in America Act responds to an urgent need to repair or replace many of the hundreds of bridges in Douglas County,” said Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice. “These bridges are critical for commerce such as logging and lumber, access to our public lands for recreation, and public safety for fire-fighting and Search and Rescue.”

“The INVEST in America Act is the critical investment that we need for our crumbling rural infrastructure,” said Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins. “For years, rural economies have been held back by the inability to make the investments needed to improve roads, bridges, rail, and transit.  This Act will give us the ability to move forward and address issues, including climate impacts, emissions goals, and the economic downturn, as well as strengthen our resilience through improved infrastructure.  We deeply appreciate Congressman DeFazio's understanding of the need for investment into infrastructure, not just for rural Oregon, but for all of America.  The investments of previous generations built this country, and we owe it to our children to give it to them in better condition than we found it.”

“Chairman DeFazio’s leadership to make systemic changes in our national transportation system will improve communities, like Eugene, across the country,” said Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis.  “Understanding my community’s needs and as a member of the Climate Mayor’s Steering Committee, the INVEST Act’s focus on climate policy, transit enhancements, and investments in transit-oriented development is a true game changer.  US communities need federal leadership on climate and infrastructure support like that outlined in the INVEST Act and I am proud to see this transformational effort coming from Eugene’s Congressman!”

“The City of Springfield commends House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio for putting forward the INVEST in America Act, a transformative piece of legislation,” said Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg. “This legislation provides robust funding for highways, public transportation and many other areas of surface transportation, which will help cities like Springfield as we invest in our community’s infrastructure.   Our City is proud to be home to the Chairman, and know this legislative proposal takes into consideration needs in our community as well as the rest of the United States.  Chairman DeFazio’s legislation includes the right policies to improve pedestrians and vehicle safety while also thoughtfully thinking through the difficult issues ranging from natural disasters and how to address climate change to innovations in transportation technology. It is refreshing to see this type of legislative effort out of Congress and the City looks forward to working with him to pass this bill.” 

“Lane Transit District applauds and thanks Chairman Peter DeFazio for his introduction of the INVEST in America Act,” said Lane Transit District General Manager Aurora Jackson. “This transformative legislation will help LTD better serve its community by replacing old buses, increasing funding for transit operations, and supporting new mobility options like LTD's innovative EmGo and Cottage Grove Connector pilot projects. Chairman DeFazio's vision for combatting climate change, promoting public transit, and improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists supports our community's vision for transportation. LTD looks forward to working with him to pass this important legislation."

“The NW Carpenters Union applauds the effort of our own Congressman Peter DeFazio for leading the way to create the “Invest in America” Act, which is much needed to invest in this country’s infrastructure, and create jobs to boost the economy for millions of unemployed Americans,” said Jeff Harms, Representative from the NW Carpenters Union. “This legislation is critical to keep our country moving in the right direction addressing climate issues and failing roads and bridges. We appreciate the work by Chairman DeFazio and the entire committee that went into creating this comprehensive legislation.”

“Wildlife crossings such as overpasses, underpasses, and culverts are an essential tool in reducing wildlife vehicle collisions on our nation’s highways, and we appreciate Congressman DeFazio’s leadership to ensure that these projects are prioritized in the INVEST in America Act,” a coalition of local conservation groups said in a joint statement. “These innovative enhancements require investment at the federal level, and hunters, anglers, and other conservationists look forward to working with the House and Senate to ensure these critical projects receive the dedicated funding they need.” The group includes leaders from the Oregon Hunters Association, Protect Animal Migration, Trout Unlimited, and the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnerships.

The INVEST in America Act authorizes nearly $500 billion over five years to address some of the country’s most urgent infrastructure needs, including:

  • Tackling the massive backlog of roads, bridges, and transit systems in need of repair and replacement;
  • Building resilient infrastructure that will withstand the impacts of climate change and extreme weather
  • Designing streets that are safer for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists;
  • Putting the U.S. on a path toward zero emissions from the transportation sector by prioritizing carbon pollution reduction, investing in public transit and the national rail network, building out fueling infrastructure for low- and zero-emission vehicles, and deploying technology and innovative materials;
  • Sharply increasing funding for public transit options in urban, suburban and rural areas in order to integrate technology and increase routes and reliability with tools such as bus-only lanes and priority signaling; and
  • Improving access to federal funding to help communities around the country undertake transformative projects that are smarter, safer, and made to last

The INVEST in America Act also accounts for the economic downturn caused by the global coronavirus pandemic by ensuring that states, cities, tribes, territories, and transit agencies can carry out existing projects, keep workers on the job, and delay major policy changes until the fall of 2021.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the INVEST in American Act late Thursday night. The bill will be considered on the House floor at the end of the month.