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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

Apr 10, 2017
While in Washington last week, legislation I introduced passed the House of Representatives, I attended hearings, spoke on the House Floor, and held meetings.
Mar 29, 2017
Today, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved Representative Albio Sires’ (D-NJ) legislation to require that when the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) begins a comprehensive safety assessment on a commuter or intercity passenger rail system, the FRA must notify the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Members of Congress representing the state in which the assessment is conducted
Mar 24, 2017

This week in Washington, I opposed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, called for an independent investigation into Russian interference, attended a roundtable, held meetings, and introduced legislation.

Mar 13, 2017

After returning to Washington from an official trip to Honduras and Guatemala, I participated in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, weighed in on recent executive actions and legislation, testified before a House Appropriations Subcommittee, and held meetings.

Mar 3, 2017

As you will see, it was a busy week in Washington.  I commented on the Trump administration’s ties to Russia, cosponsored and introduced legislation, attended a markup and a hearing, and held meetings.

Feb 23, 2017
Last week in Washington, D.C., I held meetings, pushed for accountability, introduced legislation, and voted against a resolution attacking women’s health.
Feb 15, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Representatives Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) introduced legislation that would allow Members of Congress, Senators, and their constituents to know when a railroad or rail transit agency is being investigated for safety violations by the Federal government.

Feb 6, 2017
While in Washington last week, I attended a hearing, held meetings, spoke on the House Floor, voted on, and cosponsored, important legislation.
Jan 31, 2017
Last week in Washington, D.C., I attended briefings, introduced and voted on legislation, and was renamed to several Subcommittees in the 115th Congress.
Jan 24, 2017
(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Sires was selected to continue to serve as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the 115th Congress.

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