Calls for a $1 Billion Investment in Transportation Infrastructure
Washington, DC, Mar 13 – Today on Capitol Hill, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) reintroduced the TIGER Grants for Job Creation Act. This bill will provide an emergency supplemental appropriation of one billion dollars over the next two years for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, which creates jobs by funding investments in transportation infrastructure. The funding will be exempt from sequestration. The bill is cosponsored by 60 of Congresswoman Waters’ colleagues. “The economy is struggling to recover from the recession,” said Congresswoman Waters. “The unemployment rate is nearly eight percent nationwide and is even higher in minority and disadvantaged communities. Moreover, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure estimated that there is a $549.5 billion shortfall in investments in roads and bridges and an additional $190.1 billion shortfall in investments in transit.”
TIGER could finance a wide variety of innovative highway, bridge and transit projects in urban and rural communities across the country, provided there is sufficient funding. One such project is the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor in Los Angeles County, a light rail project that will run through Congresswoman Waters’ district. TIGER grants could be used to finance stations along this corridor in the communities of Leimert Park and Westchester, thereby ensuring that these communities have access to light rail. Projects like this reduce gridlock and create safe, affordable, convenient, and environmentally sustainable transportation choices.
“I call upon my colleagues to pass the TIGER Grants for Job Creation Act, invest in our crumbling infrastructure, and create good jobs in communities across the United States,” said Congresswoman Waters.
TIGER received an appropriation of $500 million in fiscal year (FY) 2012, and the President requested $500 million in FY 2013. However, the Secretary of Transportation has been unable to organize a competition for TIGER grants in 2013 due to the uncertainty surrounding sequestration and fiscal year 2013 appropriations.
“An emergency supplemental appropriation for TIGER will allow the Secretary of Transportation to begin immediately to organize new competitions for TIGER grants and allow states, local governments, and transit agencies to prepare grant applications, thus ensuring an efficient use of funds and timely job creation,” said Congresswoman Waters.