Norton Applauds House Passage of Surface Transportation Infrastructure Bill

Jul 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, released her House floor remarks on the INVEST in America Act, the surface transportation infrastructure bill, which Norton held write and which the House passed today. She cited the bill’s much-needed, overdue and “unprecedented investment” in surface transportation infrastructure. She particularly applauded the bill’s focus on climate change, mass transit, not creating more roads for cars, and improving infrastructure for all road users, especially pedestrians and bicyclists.


Norton’s remarks follow:


As chair of the subcommittee that helped write today's INVEST in America Act, I want to emphasize that this bill breaks with previous transportation and infrastructure bills generally passed every 4 or 5 years. Until today, we have simply updated the bill first passed during the Eisenhower administration.


However, today's bill, for example, for the first time tackles climate change in recognition that transportation leads as a source of greenhouse gas emissions. The need to reduce burning fossil fuels is a priority in this bill to move us more quickly to zero emissions.


I am particularly focused on transportation infrastructure alternatives, like those here in my district, the District of Columbia, particularly transit, especially Amtrak, and establishing a pilot project for reduced transit fares for low-income riders.


Perhaps most important, this bill fundamentally reverses course by actively discouraging expansion of roads for the first time. This limitation is in recognition of climate change. Instead of incentivizing more miles of roads for cars, this bill encourages safer roads for walking, biking, and scooters. Today's bill repairs existing roads with climate-resilient materials rather than building new roads.


The INVEST in America Act changes course altogether in the interest of 21st-century transportation realities from climate change to rapidly emerging alternatives to cars as forms of travel and mobility.


The 54 percent increase in funding for this bill is in keeping with the road to change course on transportation and infrastructure.