Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Scott Peters (52nd District of California)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) helped the House pass the Moving Forward Act, a transformative bill that will rebuild America’s infrastructure, create millions of jobs, combat the climate crisis and address economic and racial disparities in America. The robust package included three key provisions advocated by Rep. Peters that will help bolster San Diego’s public transportation and infrastructure.
Parts of Rep. Peters’ Build More Housing Near Transit Act were incorporated in the bill, providing unprecedented support for building housing near transit leading to more sustainable and walkable commute solutions in our communities and helping to reduce greenhouse gases. Rep. Peters’ office was assisted in this effort by non-profit Circulate San Diego.
Additionally, Rep. Peters cosponsored an amendment that will provide funding for the Department of Energy to invest in a carbon capture, utilization and storage technology commercialization program and create a direct air capture technology prize program. This amendment was pulled from the Democrat’s CLEAN Future Act and runs parallel to Rep. Peters’ USEIT Act, one of the lawmaker’s targeted legislative efforts to tackle climate change.
The third win for San Diego was Rep. Peters’ amendment ensuring transit projects that rely on Capital Investment Grants aren’t harmed by the coronavirus’ impact on public transportation ridership. This amendment allows for the use of data collected before the pandemic so transit agencies can demonstrate more accurate ridership levels when applying for federal funding.
“This fix to the Federal Transit Administration’s Core Capacity program eligibility standards will ensure project sponsors across the country can secure crucial funding for their transit projects without worrying that the impact of COVID-19 will limit their opportunity,” said Rep. Peters. “I want to thank those at SANDAG who brought this to my attention, and I am pleased that our work to resolve the problem was reflected within the House package.”
In addition to Rep. Peters’ contributions, the Moving Forward Act would also:
Improve our highways, bridges, transit, rail, airports, and ports and harbors:
- Delivers better roads and bridges faster with more than $300 billion of investment that prioritizes fixing what we already have, including tens of thousands of structurally deficient bridges.
- Invests more than $100 billion in transit to put more zero-emission buses on the road, add new routes, and provide more reliable service, resulting in fewer single-occupant cars clogging highways.
- Modernizes infrastructure to reduce gridlock and address bottlenecks, and makes roads smarter and safer for all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Invests in programs, projects, and materials that emphasize resiliency while reducing carbon pollution from the transportation sector, including $1.4 billion in alternative fuel charging infrastructure.
- Keeps cargo moving by funding the essential dredging and upkeep of American harbors, ports, and channels.
Modernize our energy infrastructure for a clean energy future:
- Allocates $70 billion to transform our electric grid, promote new renewable energy infrastructure and strengthen existing infrastructure.
- Encourages “greening the fleet” by supporting widespread adoption of zero-emission cars, vans, and buses through tax credits for purchasing vehicles, supporting zero-emission vehicle manufacturing, and deployment of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure including in underserved communities.
- Reinvigorates our commitment to renewable energy and combatting the climate crisis by building on current successful tax incentives that promote the deployment of green energy technologies while providing new incentives for activities that reduce carbon pollution.
Build more affordable housing:
- Directs $100 billion to be used to reduce housing inequality, create jobs, stimulate the economy, improve living conditions and increase environmental sustainability.
Expand affordable high-speed Internet:
- Invests $100 billion to deliver affordable high-speed Internet access to all parts of the country.
- Promotes competition, connect students with remote learning, closes broadband adoption and digital skills gaps.
Upgrade hospitals and health care infrastructure:
- Provides $30 billion to upgrade hospitals to increase capacity and strengthen the quality of care.
- Helps community health centers respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.
- Improves clinical laboratory infrastructure.
“No bill is perfect, but the Moving Forward Act contains profound improvements to our nation’s infrastructure,” Rep. Peters continued. “While this is a Democratic bill, the Moving Forward Act invites Republicans in the Senate to identify which provisions they would support so that we can achieve a bipartisan consensus that could be signed into law by the president.”
Rep. Peters is also concerned about paying for the bill: “Borrowing $1.5 trillion means adding to our already massive federal debt. However, this package will be a huge job creator at a time of high unemployment and some stimulus borrowing may be appropriate. A large part of this package could be funded by a commonsense carbon tax, incentivizing environmentally-friendly practices among American consumers while providing revenue to fund these vital projects.”