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Congressman Brown Advances Transformational Initiatives Investing in Local, National Infrastructure

Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) praised passage of the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in AMERICA” Act as part of the sweeping $1.5 trillion Moving Forward Act to invest in modern, sustainable infrastructure while creating millions of good-paying jobs, combating the climate crisis and addressing disparities in communities across Maryland and throughout the country.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) praised passage of the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in AMERICA” Act as part of the sweeping $1.5 trillion Moving Forward Act to invest in modern, sustainable infrastructure while creating millions of good-paying jobs, combating the climate crisis and addressing disparities in communities across Maryland and throughout the country. As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Congressman Brown helped shape this transformational legislation.

The INVEST Act provides $494 billion over five years to improve the nation’s infrastructure. The bill funds critical road and rail infrastructure projects, vital to the American economy, public safety and our environmental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed immense challenges to the both public health and the American economy. Investing in infrastructure ensures essential workers can continue to make it to their jobs in the near term and will help struggling local economies recover for the long term.

“Behind economic recovery and revitalization is 21st century infrastructure that complements the daily lives and communities of Americans. It’s not enough to simply rebuild our roads and fix our bridges; we need to reinvest in a modern, interconnected transportation network for future generations,” said Congressman Anthony Brown. “Our country is changing rapidly, with COVID-19 accelerating emerging trends in how we live, work and travel. Now is the time to create the modern transportation network needed to keep this country moving.”

The INVEST Act includes several bills and initiatives championed by Congressman Brown, and over $4.3 billion for Maryland’s highways and $1.9 billion for the state’s transit systems. These policies will;

  • Reauthorize funding for WMATA and other passenger rail used Marylanders each day;

  • Secured funding for the repair of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and other high-commuter corridors;

  • Foster Transit Oriented Development for greener, safer more livable communities;

  • Create infrastructure needed to keep students safe on the way to school;

  • Invest in the next generation of transit workers through the creation of the National Training Center for Frontline Transit Workers and other programs;

  • Ensure the collective bargaining rights of workers negotiating public transportation safety plans;

  • Expands and funds high-speed, heavy, light and commuter rail projects throughout the country, and more.

The Moving Forward Act also includes a $130 billion investment in school infrastructure targeted at high-poverty schools and $10 billion to improve child care facility safety. The legislation invests $100 billion for broadband internet infrastructure in underserved communities, recognizing educational disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill also secures over $100 billion into our nation's affordable housing infrastructure to create or preserve 1.8 million affordable homes. 

The Moving Forward Act recognizes the environmental challenges this country faces and seeks to address them through robust investments in infrastructure critical to combating climate change. It modernizes our energy infrastructure with more than $70 billion to transform our electric grid to promote more renewable energy while also incentivizing the development of wind and solar on public lands as well as offshore wind.

The Moving Forward Act also looks to address infrastructure important to protecting public health. The bill secures over $25 billion in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and other programs to ensure all communities have clean drinking water and dangerous contaminants like PFAS are removed. The legislation invests $30 billion to upgrade hospitals to increase capacity and strengthen care and additional aid to community health centers as America continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

A full list of policies put forward by Congressman Brown can be found below.

Investing in the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA):

  • $1.73 billion for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) over 10 years as well as more independence for the WMATA Office of Inspector General.

Repairing and Improving the Baltimore-Washington Parkway:

  • H.R.5503, the Commuter Parkway Safety and Reliability Act, which allows the head of a Federal agency that owns a transportation facility to request assistance from a State in paying the project costs when a high commuter corridor (defined as a transportation facility administered by a Federal agency that has average annual daily traffic of not less than 20,000 vehicles) within that State is in need of repair.

  • GAO National Park Service Study Amendment, which  requires GAO to look at how the Federal Lands Transportation Program resources are typically prioritized as well as the challenges facing the NPS, including areas with high-commuter corridors, like the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

Upgrading the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train Service:

  • Reauthorizes the FRA’s discretionary grant program, the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI), at $7 billion over five years. Commuter rail authorities are newly eligible, like the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train Service, and project eligibility are extended to commuter rail transportation improvement projects, maintenance and upgrades of railroad safety technology, and establishment of new quiet zones. 

Securing Federal Funding for WMATA’s Purple Line Project:

  • The INVEST in America Act authorizes the Capital Investment Grant program at $21.5 billion. Maryland received a grant to fund the federal portion of WMATA’s Purple Line.

Preserving and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay:

  • Reauthorization of the Chesapeake Bay Program for 5 years starting at $90 million and increasing by $500,000 every year.

  • Reauthorizes the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails program for an additional five years.

Protecting Transit Workers’ Rights and Investing in the Next Generation:

  • H.R.6575, the National Transit Workforce Training Act of 2020 co-led with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Jesus G. "Chuy" García (IL-04) to establish a National Transit Frontline Training Center to invest in and train the next generation of transportation workers.

  • H.R.6478, the Public Transit Safety Program Improvement Act requires frontline employee representatives to be at the table when for the approval of a public transportation agency safety plan.

  • Implicit Bias Training Grant Program, this amendment, which was included in the Manager’s Amendment, seeks to develop partnerships between local law enforcement and universities to thoroughly study the racial profiling before and during traffic stops, and ways to develop effective training to allow us to better address implicit bias and racial profiling in policing. 

  • Investments in Workforce Development, The INVEST in America Act creates a 21st Century Task Force on Workforce Development, which establishes a task force comprised of representatives from surface transportation industry sectors, labor, and other experts to develop recommendations and strategies to address surface transportation workforce needs and ways to increase representation of women and minorities in surface transportation careers.

  • Enable Local Hiring (Section 112 of Title 23), The INVEST in America Act creates a pilot program to allow the Federal Highways Administration or Federal Transit Administration grantees, including States, local recipients, and subrecipients, to utilize local or other geographic labor hiring preferences, economic-based labor hiring preferences, and labor hiring preferences for veterans.

  • The INVEST in America Act includes core elements of H.R. 1139, Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act, spearheaded by Rep. Napolitano and Senator Van Hollen, which requires safety committees to create and implement assault and blind spot plans for bus drivers.

Developing 21st Century Infrastructure:

  • H.R.5255, the Maximizing Our Redevelopment and Efficiency for Transit Oriented Development Act (MORE TOD Act) co-led with Rep. Ann Wagner (MO-02) will create integrated neighborhoods, where public and private infrastructure work together seamlessly to better facilitate the daily lives of those who live there. This bill promotes community revitalization by recognizing existing transportation options and infrastructure for Transit Oriented Development. 

  • H.R.5891, the Safe Routes to School Expansion Act will expand funding for infrastructure improvements critical to student safety such as sidewalks, crosswalks, signage and bus stop shelters.

  • Invests $10 billion in the community health center capital projects, ensuring affordable health care for millions of Americans. This investment will help further break down access barriers for underserved communities.

  • Expand High-Speed Rail Network, The INVEST in America Act creates a new intercity passenger rail funding program. The Passenger Rail Improvement, Modernization, and Expansion (PRIME) Grants, which authorizes grant funding of $19 billion over five years for state of good repair service improvement projects, and rail expansion projects. Key transportation options for Marylanders, like Amtrak, will benefit from this funding, in which forty percent of the funding is reserved for the Northeast Corridor. 

  • Anti-Corrosion, The INVEST in America Act requires states to spend 20% of their two largest apportioned programs on bridge repair and rehabilitation projects, including projects such as corrosion control. Congressman Brown worked with North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) to get a provision that uniformly applies corrosion prevention best practices on all bridges funded by the federal government.

  • INFRA Multimodal Grant cap (Section 117(d)(2)), The INVEST in America Act, establishes a Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS) program, which provides more than $9 billion for large highways, transit, and passenger and freight projects that reduce congestion on roadways.

  • Establishes a $250 million grant program to reduce traffic gridlock in large metropolitan areas. The grant program supports projects to reduce and mitigate the adverse impacts of traffic congestion; make better use of existing capacity; and employ innovative, integrated, and multimodal solutions to reducing gridlock.

  • The INVEST in America Act increases funds for the Transportation Alternatives Program so that states and localities can invest more in sidewalks and bike lanes. 

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