My statement in response to today’s congressional vote to approve a long-awaited transportation bill
"After one extension after another, Congress finally came together and broke through the gridlock to pass the surface transportation bill. Importantly for Los Angeles, the bill includes America Fast Forward, the innovative, nationwide funding program that grew out of 30/10, our plan to accelerate 30 years worth of transit projects in 10 years.
America Fast Forward is a path-breaking program that will dramatically accelerate transportation projects across the country. It expands an existing program – the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program – to give cities access to low-interest financing with flexible terms for their projects.
With America Fast Forward in place, cities across America will be able to speed up the construction of locally funded road and rail projects and get our economy moving again.
Working in partnership with the US Conference of Mayors, we assembled a broad, bipartisan coalition, including nearly 200 mayors and both the AFL-CIO and the US Chamber of Commerce, to bring America Fast Forward to fruition. I want to thank our coalition partners for all of their hard work. This is a victory for common-sense investment in our country’s future.
I applaud Congress for including America Fast Forward in the reauthorization of the nation’s surface transportation programs. I specifically want to thank Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Boxer, Ranking Member Inhofe, Chairman Mica, and Ranking Member Rahall for their far-sighted leadership in crafting the bill and moving forward with much-needed investments in our country's roads, bridges and rail lines.
The Surface Transportation Bill will preserve 2 million jobs. With the inclusion of America Fast Forward, it will put close to an additional million Americans to work.
The passage of America Fast Forward will mean more jobs for Angelenos and will give a significant boost to our plan to accelerate transit projects here in Los Angeles and realize our vision of a 21st century transportation network."