Kaptur, NOACA Statement After House Passes $1.5 Trillion Bill To Create Jobs Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure

July 1, 2020
Press Release
Legislation includes Kaptur amendment to oppose Amtrak’s decision to limit daily service on numerous long-distance routes, including in Northern Ohio

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Grace Gallucci, Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. This legislation, recently unveiled by House Democrats, will invest more than $1.5 trillion in modern, sustainable infrastructure while creating millions of good-paying jobs, combatting the climate crisis, and addressing disparities in urban, suburban and rural communities across Northern Ohio and throughout the country.

 

Rep. Kaptur successfully fought to include an amendment to H.R. 2 expressing the sense of Congress that Amtrak has taken a wrongheaded and shortsighted approach to limiting daily service on numerous long-distance routes in Northern Ohio and across the U.S.

 

“Through robust federal support, this legislation will empower communities across the U.S. as we seek to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, bring our transit and highway systems into the 21st century, and make historic investments in green energy technologies,” said Rep. Kaptur. “H.R. 2 reauthorizes funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an invaluable program central to the preservation of the Great Lakes and the economies it sustains, authorizes key investments in wastewater infrastructure, and updates the weatherization program to confront he 21st century challenges.”

 

“I am also pleased that the House unanimously agreed to my amendment expressing Congress’s opposition to the recent Amtrak decision to scale back daily service across the U.S., including in Northern Ohio,” continued Rep. Kaptur. “An economic downturn is not the time to scale back investment in rail. Amtrak has already been forced to limit many of its shorter routes, with plans to reduce 13 of its long-distance routes. As many as 461 stations may be impacted, including one of Ohio’s busiest stations in Toledo. While long-distance trains are seeing understandably low ridership due to COVID, this will not always be the case. After receiving over $1 billion from the CARES Act, Amtrak’s plans to limit services of long-distance routes is unacceptable. This rushed decision will stifle economic recovery and only add to the growing unemployment numbers. As Amtrak announced plans to permanently cut 20 percent of its workforce, there are 18,000 employees who do not know if they will have a job to return to. Failure to act now to protect this vital resource will only make its recovery that much more challenging. There must be a thorough, transparent presentation of facts justifying these proposed cuts and until all the facts are presented Amtrak must not move forward with their plans.”

 

“I am pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives approved Congresswoman Kaptur’s amendment to H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act,” said Grace Gallucci, NOACA’s Executive Director. “NOACA works to create an equitable, sustainable, and multi-modal transportation system for all residents of Northeast Ohio. Daily Amtrak service is an essential part of a balanced transportation system – providing a much-needed option for college students, business travelers, and all residents wishing to travel east or west without having to drive a car. Any reduction in rail service would impede Northeast Ohio’s recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19. I fully support this amendment, and I thank Congresswoman Kaptur for her efforts on behalf of our region.”

 

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), is the metropolitan planning organization representing over 2.1 million people in the five counties surrounding Cleveland, Ohio.

 

Among the many far-reaching provisions of the Moving Forward Act:

  • The INVEST in America Act, a nearly $500 billion investment to rebuild and reimagine the nation’s transportation infrastructure by fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, improving safety, reducing gridlock, and putting the U.S. on a path toward zero emissions from the transportation sector by cutting carbon pollution, 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. The INVEST in America Act is fueled by American workers and ingenuity thanks to strong Buy America provisions and labor protections.

 

  • Invests in schools with the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act, which funds $130 billion in school infrastructure targeted at high-poverty schools with facilities that endanger the health and safety of students and educators. This investment will help students get back to school and create more than 2 million jobs to help workers get back to work.  

 

  • Addresses structural challenges and upgrades child care facilities by leveraging a 5-year, $10 billion federal investment to generate additional state and private investments in making sure that child care settings are safe, appropriate, and able to comply with current and future public health directives.

 

  • Invests over $100 billion into our nation's affordable housing infrastructure to create or preserve 1.8 million affordable homes. These investments will help reduce housing inequality, create jobs and stimulate the broader economy, increase community and household resiliency in the face of natural disasters, improve hazardous living conditions, and increase the environmental sustainability of our housing stock.

 

  • Protects access to safe drinking water by investing over $25 billion in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and other programs to ensure all communities have clean drinking water and to help remove dangerous contaminants like PFAS from local water systems. 

 

  • Modernizes our energy infrastructure for a clean energy future by investing more than $70 billion to transform our electric grid to accommodate more renewable energy, expand renewable energy, strengthen existing infrastructure, help develop an electric vehicle charging network, and support energy efficiency, weatherization, and Smart Communities infrastructure.

 

  • Delivers affordable high-speed broadband Internet access to all parts of the country by investing $100 billion to promote competition for broadband internet infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities, prioritizing those with persistent poverty. Gets children connected to remote learning, closes broadband adoption and digital skills gaps and enhances payment support for low-income households and the recently unemployed. 

 

  • Modernizes the nation’s health care infrastructure by investing $30 billion to upgrade hospitals to increase capacity and strengthen care, help community health centers respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies, improve clinical laboratory infrastructure, support the Indian Health Service‘s infrastructure, and increase capacity for community-based care.   

 

  • Modernizes and strengthens the United States Postal Service by investing $25 billion to modernize postal infrastructure and operations, including a zero emissions postal vehicle fleet, processing equipment and other goods.

 

  • Promotes new renewable energy infrastructure by incentivizing the development of wind and solar on public lands and building a workforce for offshore wind.

 

  • Promotes investments in our communities by spurring private investment through the tax code, through a revitalized Build America Bonds program, expansions of Private Activity Bonds, and significant enhancements to the New Markets Tax Credit and the Rehabilitation Tax Credit.

 

A fact sheet on the Moving Forward Act is available here.

 

Bill text for the Kaptur amendment can be found here.

 

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kaptur.house.gov