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Transportation

The transportation infrastructure networks that serve our country are having a hard time keeping up with service demands. More people are driving or using public transportation, but states have less money to repair and upgrade this infrastructure. Our congressional district is not an exception and we have all struggled with old bridges, late trains, and potholed roads.

As a member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, I have worked to authorize programs that allow New Jersey to tap into federal money for infrastructure projects. The federal government has a responsibility to help states that need assistance financing upgrades, and I continuously work to increase funding for grant programs that cities can use to finance big infrastructure upgrades projects.

Federal Work

The federal government has an important role in helping states finance big transportation projects that benefit large swaths of the country through the movements of goods and people. There are many projects around the country – bridge upgrades, commuter rail maintenance, and road repair – which cannot be finished without a helping hand from Congress.

This Congress, I introduced:

  • H.R. 543, a bill which requires the Federal Railroad Administration to inform Members of Congress when it is conducting a safety audit of a railroad within a Member’s district. This bill was passed the House of Representatives unanimously on February 6, 2019 and now awaits consideration in the Senate.

I have co-sponsored numerous infrastructure bills including:

  • H.R. 180, the Build America Act of 2019, directing the Department of Transportation to carry out a national infrastructure investment grant program for big investments in transportation infrastructure.
  • H.R. 1428, the Transportation Infrastructure for Job Creation Act, providing an additional $7.5 billion for national infrastructure investments under an existing Department of Transportation grant program.
  • I supported S. 1689, a bill to help states facing water-related public health threats access federal funds for projects that remove lead from drinking water. This bill was passed by the House and Senate and was signed into law by the President on October 4, 2019.

The Gateway Project

The most important, and complex, infrastructure network on the east coast is in our District. The tunnels and rail lines that connect New Jersey and New York are over 100 years old and were battered during Superstorm Sandy. They are in operation today, used to move freight and passengers throughout the region, but they are in desperate need of repair. Without federal government help, state authorities will be forced to shut them down for emergency maintenance or a tunnel could become unuseable - reducing the capacity by up to 75 percent. The Gateway Project is a massive undertaking to protect the economic viability of the region that includes repairing and upgrading these tunnels that tens of thousands of commuters travel through each day as they go in and out of Manhattan. 

New Jersey cannot finance the project by itself, and it should not have to. As a Member of Congress, I have consistently pushed the Department of Transportation to move the Gateway Project’s federal grant application through the Department’s project review process. Repairing and expanding these tunnels will impact anyone who commutes in the northeastern United States or travels by rail along the entire east coast. We cannot afford to play politics with something this important.

Aviation and Ports

The aviation industry is an important sector of our economy and commercial aviation employs thousands of people around the country. Our congressional district is home to part of Newark Liberty International Airport employs 22,000 people, serves 50 airline carriers, and generates $33 billion in economic activity.

This Congress, I have supported legislation that authorizes airline safety programs, pays federal airline employees in case of a government shutdown, and requires training for airline crew members to identify and address fume events onboard aircraft. I will continue my work in the 166th Congress to ensure that our airports have the resources they need to serve my constituents and our airlines have the tools they need to keep passengers safe.

Our district is also home to ports that serve as a throughway for products coming into our country and goods being sold abroad. I have supported legislative efforts to increase funding for grants and loans programs that our ports can draw from for upgrades and repair projects that keep our district competitive.

Transportation and the infrastructure necessary to keep it up impacts our everyday lives. If any one of our nation’s transportation infrastructure network breaks down, Americans immediately feel the impact - especially residents of New Jersey’s 8th Congressional District. That is why I have worked so hard to provide our States and cities with the federal funds they need to maintain current infrastructure networks, expand current infrastructure, and build new projects to meet the needs of growing cities and expanding economies.

 

 

More on Transportation

Sep 16, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Sires released the following statement regarding the release of the final report from the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Investigation into the Boeing 737 MAX crashes:

Sep 11, 2020

This week, I participated in virtual hearings for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the House Budget Committee, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. I also signed onto legislation to help ensure the short and long-term accessibility, safety, and affordability of housing. Additionally, I signed onto letters to promote clean air in communities across the country, extend the payroll support program, and to direct the Department of Justice (DOJ) to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during our current public health emergency.

Sep 4, 2020

This week, I signed onto legislation to stop harmful image exploitation and distribution of non-consenting individuals. I also signed onto letters to oppose harmful environmental law erosions proposed by the Administration, support the inclusion of protections against harmful pesticides in the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and to demand accountability for vehicle inspections across the country.

Jul 17, 2020

This week, I attended a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee vote on an important water infrastructure bill and submitted public comments opposing the Administration’s proposal to rewrite asylum rules. I also signed onto letters opposing the Administration’s recent attempted rule on international students, urging the Administration to extend the current public health emergency, pushing for protections for immigrant victims of domestic violence, and encouraging the Administration to keep protections in place for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Jul 2, 2020

This week, I traveled back to Washington D.C. to vote for important legislation to expand access and affordability to healthcare, provide housing and rental relief to homeowners and renters, and upgrade our country’s infrastructure. I also chaired a Western Hemisphere hearing on the Administration’s response to COVID-19 in Latin America, and attended a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Hong Kong.

Jul 1, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) issued the following statement regarding his vote for H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act:

Jun 29, 2020

Last week, I travelled back to Washington D.C. to cast my vote for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The House also considered legislation on Washington D.C. statehood and I announced additional funding for NJ Transit from the CARES Act.

Legislation

Jun 29, 2020

Last week, I travelled back to Washington D.C. to cast my vote for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The House also considered legislation on Washington D.C. statehood and I announced additional funding for NJ Transit from the CARES Act.

Legislation

Jun 24, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-8), along with U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressmen Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), and Tom Malinowski (NJ-7), all members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today announced the awarding of $13,321,545 from the Federal Transit Agency (FTA) to ensure NJ Transit can continue operations in rural parts of the state despite a significant drop-off in ridership and revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was secured by the lawmakers in the CARES Act that passed in March.
 

Jun 22, 2020

Last week I continued to work with my colleagues on legislation addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, helped provide COVID-19 tests in the 8th District, and spoke at a virtual House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Markup.

• DACA
• COVID-19 Testing
• Transportation
• Pride Month  
• Foreign Affairs

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