On June 10, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, joined Chairman Peter DeFazio (OR-4) and colleagues in advancing the INVEST in America Act, a transformational surface transportation reauthorization bill that will create good-paying jobs and bring Washington’s infrastructure into the modern era.
The INVEST in America Act passed out of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee by 38-26 after a nineteen-hour markup. This bill includes several key priorities, such as H.R.2483, the bipartisan Build More Housing Near Transit Act, legislation Strickland introduced with Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) to encourage the construction of low and middle-income housing in transit-served, walkable locations. Also included in this package is $20 million in funding that Strickland secured for five local Member-Designated Transportation projects, in addition to several amendments to lower transportation fares, and boost access for low-income servicemembers and veterans. (Please find the bill text for the Build More Housing Near Transit Act attached, also attached are the Bill Text, Fact Sheet, and Section-by-Section for the INVEST in America Act.)
“In the South Sound and across our nation, our communities can’t afford to continue depending on aging infrastructure that relies on fossil fuels and leaves us behind in the global economy,” Congresswoman Strickland said. “As part of the landmark INVEST in America Act, I’m thrilled to have secured committee passage of the Build More Housing Near Transit Act which I introduced with Rep. Scott Peters, funding for five local projects, and several key priorities for Washington’s 10th that will help us build back better, and more equitably. As key funding decisions are made in the House, I will continue to stand up for South Sound communities and make sure our district has a voice in the process.”
“This transformative investment will create good-paying jobs and put the South Sound on the path to recover and rebuild equitably for a brighter future,”continued Congresswoman Strickland. “The cost of inaction remains too high, and investing in Washington’s infrastructure can’t wait. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I look forward to working with Chairman DeFazio, Subcommittee Chairs Holmes Norton and Payne, and with my colleagues to advance this bill through Congress without delay so we can deliver the help families and workers are asking for now.”
“As a former mayor, Representative Strickland understands firsthand how infrastructure and thriving communities go hand in hand,” Chair DeFazio said. “Her efforts, including as Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, will be instrumental to advancing the INVEST in America Act, legislation that will make transformative investments in infrastructure and create good-paying jobs in Washington state and around the country. In addition, I applaud Representative Strickland’s dedication to increasing access to affordable housing, transit, investing in a robust national rail network, and ensuring that our transportation systems are safer, greener, and made to last.”
Strickland Advances $20 Million in Funding for Five Local Transportation Projects
Strickland secured $20 million for five local transportation projects in the South Sound after advocating for multiple Member-Designated Projects. Requests that the Committee passed in the markup today are listed below:
Project Sponsor: City of Lakewood
Project Name/Location: South Tacoma Way, 88th Street S to 80th Street, Lakewood, WA 98499
Requested Amount: $2.4 million
Project Sponsor: City of Tacoma
Project Name/Location: E. 64th Street Phase II, Tacoma, WA 98404
Requested Amount: $5.6 million
Project Sponsor: City of Lacey
Project Name/Location: College Street Corridor Improvements Phase III, Lacey, WA 98503
Requested Amount: $6 million
Project Sponsor: City of Tumwater
Project Name/Location: X Street Roundabout, Tumwater, WA 98501
Requested Amount: $3.25 million
Project Sponsor: City of Fife
Project Name/Location: Sheffield Trail Improvement Project, Fife, WA 98424
Requested Amount: $2.75 million
Strickland Housing Bill and Amendments Advance Out of Committee to Benefit WA-10 Residents
Key priorities Strickland championed were passed out of committee in the INVEST for America Act through the base text and through Chairman DeFazio’s manager’s amendment, which will benefit residents of Washington’s 10th Congressional District.
- Strickland Bill to Accelerate Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Passes Committee: H.R.2483, the bipartisan Build More Housing Near Transit Act, introduced by Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) and Representative Scott Peters (CA-52), encourages the construction of low and middle-income housing in transit-served, walkable locations. The bill would provide incentives for transit applicants who meet requirements related to building more housing along the future transit corridor. It covers projects submitted under the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts and Core Capacity programs, which fund projects like commuter rail, light rail, and bus rapid transit through the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.
- Strickland Amendment Ensures Transit Access for Servicemembers and Veterans: The amendment ensures recipients of Demonstration Grants to Support Reduced Fare Transit are including transit policies that provide coverage for low-income servicemembers and veterans. Washington’s 10th Congressional district is home to over 75,000 veterans and Joint Base Lewis McChord with over 31,000 active duty servicemembers. Accessible transportation enhances access to community services, educational opportunities, healthcare, and employment.
- Strickland Amendment Studies Impact of Fare Free Transit on Access to Education: The amendment addresses the Government Accountability Office’s study on fare-free transit systems and requires the GAO to assess the impact of fare-free transit on the ability of students to access education or workforce training programs. Everyone deserves access to education and Congress must ask if eliminating fares on public transportation will move students one step closer to their educational goals.
- Strickland Amendment to Boost the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program: This amendment, introduced with Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), included much-needed changes to the Capital Investment Grant program to ensure that transit systems can not only continue with current expansions, but that future expansions are not delayed as a result of the long-term impacts of the pandemic. Changes include mandating that the Department of Transportation consider factors to increase CIG allocations to transit agencies who require it.
The INVEST in America Act is the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s five-year $547 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill that will create good-paying jobs to rebuild and re-imagine America’s surface transportation infrastructure. This package helps meet the president’s vision—as laid out in the American Jobs Plan—by investing in American workers and communities of all sizes, while tackling the climate crisis head-on.
- Funds Transit-Oriented Development: Funds and incentivizes transit-oriented development to make transit more convenient to where people live and work and build sustainable, walkable communities.
- Funds High-Speed Rail: Provides funding for corridor planning and development of high-speed rail projects, reducing traffic congestion and shortening travel times.
- Increases Transportation Access: Makes record investments in transit to increase routes, reduce the transit maintenance backlog, and provide more frequent service, resulting in better options for riders, improved environmental outcomes, and increased access to jobs and essential destinations.
- Boosts Capital Investment Grants: Streamlines the Capital Investment Grant program to improve project delivery, reduce red tape, and achieve cost savings for transit agencies.