Transportation and Infrastructure
I understand the importance of improving infrastructure in the US, and will continue to work on this while making sure our investments are fiscally responsible. Our infrastructure provides jobs for thousands, provides for the efficient movement of goods that keeps our economy growing, and ensures the safety of countless lives.
- Leveling the Playing Field for Transportation Contracts: I have been very engaged with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) owners to ensure that they are being given fair consideration and treatment for projects at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Over the years, I have sent letters to the Washington State Secretary of Transportation on behalf of DBE owners and brought their issues to the attention of officials at WSDOT, while ensuring that WSDOT is properly managing the federal funds that they are receiving.
- Improving Funding for Our Nation’s Critical Freight Infrastructure: Introduced the Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act (FIRA), which directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish a National Freight Mobility Infrastructure Improvement Program that awards competitive grants to states and designated entities to fund projects to improve the efficiency and capacity of freight mobility in the United States. FIRA will increase funding for freight infrastructure by creating a new National Freight Mobility Infrastructure Fund paid for through a one percent user fee on the shipment of freight cargo within the US.
- Rebuilding Our Vital Transportation Network: Recognizing the need to bring long-term certainty to the nation’s transportation system, I signed on to the GROW AMERICA Act. This is a six-year, long-term reauthorization of our nation’s transportation and infrastructure network that would provide robust funding of $478 billion, a 45 percent increase from the baseline. The GROW America act contains many beneficial provisions, such as the establishment of a national multi-modal freight program. It also provides $6 billion for vehicle safety under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and $7.5 billion in competitive grants under the TIGER program.
- Modernizing Our Nation’s Railroads: Cosponsored the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2015, which expands the types of track maintenance expenditures eligible for the railroad maintenance tax credit. It would also extend the credit through 2016.
- Making Airports More Accessible to Nursing Mothers: Cosponsor of the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act of 2015. This bill allows large or medium hub airports to apply for grant applications for an airport development project if they can prove that the airport maintains stations for mothers to nurse their children.
- Expanding Our Nation’s Freight Network: Cosponsor of the MOVE Freight Act, which expands the definition of a “national freight network” by including highways, railways, navigable waterways, seaports, airports, freight intermodal connectors, and aerotropolis transportation systems, as critical components of the movement of freight. It directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish a national freight network for the efficient movement of freight on those surfaces, while requiring that states develop freight plans for short term and long term investments and it establishes a competitive grant program for capital investment projects.
- Keeping Our Roadways Rail System Safe: To keep our roadways safe from restricted vehicles carrying dangerous materials, I cosponsored the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act. This bill prohibits a state from enforcing any regulation that allows a restricted property-carrying unit such as a trailer, semi-trailer, container, or other property-carrying unit longer than 53 feet, with the exception of a fire-fighting unit from operating on the National Highway System unless several exceptions and criteria are met. I am committed to ensuring that our rail and freight systems are as safe as possible, and have cosponsored H.R. 1763 the Safe Freight Act. This bill would prohibit the operation of a freight train or light locomotive unless it has a crew of at least two individuals, one of whom is Federal Rail Administration certified as a locomotive operator and the other as a train conductor.
- Studying Airplane Noise at the Fastest-Growing Airport Hub in the Country: The expansion and changes at SeaTac airport over the years have caused local communities have to endure increases in air traffic above their homes. I have remained active and engaged with these communities to bring their concerns to relevant officials at the Port of Seattle and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), organized meetings, and exploring the option of legislation at the federal level that would alleviate the noise burden that these communities are experiencing.
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More on Transportation and Infrastructure
“The “Security Minibus” appropriations bill the House is currently debating is completely disconnected from the realities that our country faces and the spending choices we must make. This spending package includes funding for the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, agencies of the Department of Interior, and several independent agencies.
“An enormous amount of good bipartisan work has gone into the writing of this bill, and I am supporting it. Make no mistake about it: We face a complex threat environment. North Korea is testing intercontinental ballistic missiles, Russia continues to undermine not just our elections, but democracy itself across the globe, and we face a terrorist threat. These are dangers that we must be prepared to confront.
“Instead of proposing a budget that makes available the tools Americans and this country need to succeed, the Trump Administration has proposed a disastrous and ideologically-driven budget that demonstrates this President’s complete lack of interest in or understanding of the realities of governing. The President has doubled down on his earlier campaign promises, and makes clear he wants to limit the government’s ability to improve the lives of working Americans and diminish our country’s role in the world.
“This month’s tunnel breach at the Hanford Nuclear Site underscores the importance of policies that prioritize worker health and safety. While the complete collapse of the tunnel was averted, I remain concerned. The Department of Energy (DOE) is relying more on luck than on certainty that all measures have been taken to avoid a potential incident that could release radiation and contamination. Such an incident would cause unacceptable harm, endanger lives and require long-term evacuations of the area and huge remediation costs.
“Our current tax code is overly-complex; there is no question it needs reexamination and overhaul. The tax proposal released today by President Trump would be disastrous. Its almost singular focus on cutting taxes for wealthy people and companies will harm working people and undermine a healthy economy.
Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith will host a Town Hall on Saturday, March 4, 2017 in Seattle. Congressman Smith is looking forward to meeting with constituents and hearing all questions and concerns.
Who: Congressman Adam Smith
What: Rep. Smith is hosting a Town Hall event where constituents can meet and interact with the Congressman and voice concerns on issues of the budget, immigration, education, the economy, national security and more.
When: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Congressman Smith to Host Town Hall in Seattle
The beginning of a new year is a time to reflect on both our accomplishments during the last year, as well as an opportunity to consider thoughtful questions about what the future may hold.
“President Trump continues to sign vague and ill-conceived executive orders that have clearly not been properly considered in a rush to fulfill campaign promises. The executive order related to regulation signed this week is just another gimmick under the guise of reducing regulations. It arbitrarily requires that for every regulation passed, two have to be eliminated. This would wreak havoc on our regulatory system and hurt American businesses that are faced with an unpredictable and unsound regulatory environment.
I want to serve my constituents in any way I can. Whether you need help with a federal agency, are trying to find out if federal grants are available for your project, or are considering applying to a service academy, my staff and I are accessible for those who need assistance.