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.
- Increased Accountability in the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program: I have been very engaged with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) owners to ensure that they are being given fair consideration and treatment for projects under the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). I have taken their concerns to WSDOT and have helped to spur the implementation of prompt payment software at the agency, to ensure that contractors are being paid on time. I am also taking a more active role in oversight of the DBE program by having my staff sit in on the DBE Advisory Committee meetings and make sure that WSDOT is responsive to the DBE community’s concerns.
- Reducing Airplane Noise and Emissions 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). I have organized multiple roundtables for several communities in the region to discuss solutions for airplane noise and emissions issues. I have also written a letter to the Administrator of the FAA, asking that they re-evaluate their use of the 65 Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL).
- Holding the Federal Aviation Administration Accountable: I am a member of the Quiet Skies Caucus and have worked with my colleagues in the Caucus to hold the FAA accountable to communities. I am a cosponsor of Rep. Grace Meng’s Quiet Communities Act which would reestablish an Office of Noise Abatement at the Environmental Protection Agency, and am working on amendments to address ultrafine particulates and noise in an upcoming FAA reauthorization bill, or a government funding bill. Along with other Members of the Washington State delegation, I also introduced an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization that would allow for the continued funding of noise mitigation for the Highline School District.
- Improving Funding for Our Nation’s Critical Freight Infrastructure: Introduced the Freight Infrastructure Reinvestment Act (FIRA) in the 115th Congress, 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 Nation’s Infrastructure: I support robust public investment in our nation’s infrastructure. I am a cosponsor of Rep. Lieu’s Resolution supporting a bold jobs and infrastructure package centered around increased direct public investment in our nation’s roads, bridges, ports, railways, drinking water, and broadband infrastructure. I also understand the important role that municipal finance bonds play in funding local infrastructure projects which is why I joined the Municipal Finance Caucus in the 115th Congress.
- Rebuilding Our Vital Transportation Network: Recognizing the importance of continuing federal funding for critical projects in the region, I have pushed Congress to increase funding for vital federal programs such as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program and Capital Investment Grants. Understanding the need to shore up the Highway Trust Fund, I support making changes to the fund’s revenue stream such as the inclusion of a user-based tax in any upcoming tax reform legislation.
- Modernizing Our Nation’s Railroads: Cosponsor of the BRACE Act, which permanently extends the tax credit to Class II and III shortline railroads for track maintenance. I also weighed in with appropriators to provide full funding for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program which was mandated in the FAST Act. This program was created to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of passenger and freight rail systems.
- Improving our Port Infrastructure: I recognize the importance of the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma to the region’s continued economic growth. That is why I am an original cosponsor of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Reform Act, to reform the Harbor Maintenance Tax by requiring that 100 percent of the funds from the tax are used for port improvements including dredging. This legislation also addresses the issue of larger, deeper ports like Seattle and Tacoma having to give up their portion of harbor maintenance funds to smaller ports by requiring a 50/50 funding split between larger “donor “ ports.
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More on Transportation & Infrastructure
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|5/29/14||Congressman Smith Statement on Puget Sound Being Named One of 12 National Manufacturing Communities|
|4/10/14||Smith Statements on House Budget Votes|
|3/21/14||Smith Statement on WSDOT’s Agreement on DBE Program|
|1/10/14||Rep. Smith Introduces Bill to Improve Freight Infrastructure|