U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sent a long-term transportation bill to Congress that provides funding growth and certainty so that state and local governments can get back in the business of building things again.
The GROW AMERICA Act reflects President Obama’s vision for a six-year, $478 billion transportation reauthorization bill that invests in modernizing America’s infrastructure. As lawmakers try to fund transportation beyond May 31, GROW AMERICA provides members of the House and Senate with the option of increasing investment in surface transportation by 45%, and supporting millions of jobs repairing and modernizing roads, bridges, railroads and transit systems in urban, suburban and rural communities.
“Our proposal provides a level of funding and also funding certainty that our partners need and deserve,” said Foxx. “This is an opportunity to break away from 10 years of flat funding, not to mention these past six years in which Congress has funded transportation by passing 32 short-term measures.”
A recent study by the U.S. Department of Transportation, “Beyond Traffic,” confirmed that America’s infrastructure is failing. Drivers spend more than 40 hours annually stuck in traffic. Sixty-five percent of the roads they drive on are in less than good condition; one out of four bridges they cross needs to be replaced; and public transit faces an $86 billion repair backlog.
The report also revealed that, over the next 30 years, Americans will ask more of our transportation system than ever before. The country’s population will grow by 70 million; freight traffic will increase by 45%.
The GROW AMERICA Act will chart a new course. For one, it will increase investment in all forms of transportation, which will restore the ability of states and local governments to plan for both needed repairs and efforts that increase capacity to meet future demand. Additionally, the proposal ensures that taxpayer dollars are used more effectively and efficiently, and brings federal transportation policy into the 21st century. It will:
- Increase safety across all modes of transportation, including by almost tripling the budget of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s automobile defects office.
- Establish an $18 billion freight program so American businesses can compete effectively in a global economy and grow.
- Increase connections so that more Americans have access to jobs and education, including by raising transit investment by 76%.
- Put in place a transparent and clear permitting process to speed up project delivery.
- Increase innovative financing by strengthening Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act and Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan programs, by making more Private Activity Bonds available, and by nearly doubling funding for our TIGER grant program.
- Empower local government by providing more funding to high-performing Metropolitan Planning Organizations.