Congressman Dingell has long believed that it is imperative that we make robust investments in our nation’s transportation infrastructure to help our economy grow and ensure that the United States is positioned to compete in the global marketplace. Given the high prices of fuel, it is critical that constituents have access to alternative modes of transportation. Furthermore, investment in infrastructure holds the potential to create well-paying construction jobs in Michigan, something that is sorely needed.
As a donor state, Michigan has historically given more tax dollars to the federal government than it has received with regard to transportation funding. Congressman Dingell has played an integral role in ensuring Michigan receives its fair share of transportation dollars from the federal government. This increase ultimately guarantees all states an eventual 92 percent rate of return, an improvement on the previous 90.5 percent rate. He also worked to change existing federal law to allow the State of Michigan more flexibly to use federal transportation dollars to attack congestion in order to improve air quality. This is something Governor Granholm has long championed and Congressman Dingell was pleased to spearhead this successful effort in Congress. Greater flexibility in this area means that Michigan could meet its improved air quality goals in a quicker time-frame with a lower burden on individual citizens and businesses.
Public transportation must be a vital component of our efforts to address global warming and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Over the last few years, Congressman Dingell has supported federal appropriations for both hybrid and regular buses, funding for transit centers in our district, and the Ann Arbor to Detroit rail study. He helped pass the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users in 2005, which provided federal grants for local public transit projects. He has also voted in support of restoring the Highway Trust Fund balance to prevent a deficit, as well as supporting legislation that will focus on increasing funding for bridge repair so that we can repair over 30 structurally deficient bridges in the 15th District.
During the debate on an economic stimulus package, Congressman Dingell spearheaded two letters to House Leadership calling for a second economic stimulus package that would include infrastructure funding. Both letters called on leadership to advance $3-5 billion for ready-to-go highway/transit projects for the FY2008 construction season. Investment in schools, roads, water and sewer projects, and other public infrastructure projects that are ready to go will put people to work and build or repair needed capital assets while pumping up the economy. More importantly, it would provide funding for much needed repair projects that will address the 17,000 structurally deficient bridges in Michigan and the hundreds of roads and highways that are burdened by Michigan’s famous potholes.
H.R. 624 – Airline Passenger Bill of Rights Act of 2009
H.R. 1881 – Transportation Security Workforce Enhancement Act of 2009
H.R. 2024 – Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Act of 2009