Van Hollen, Banking Committee Members Call for $30 Billion in Transit Funding in Reconciliation Bill
Banking Senators: “Transit is vital for urban, suburban, and rural communities across our nation. Investments in transit are a matter of equity and racial and economic justice.”
Today, Maryland U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen joined Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff and a group of Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee members in calling for an additional $30 billion to be dedicated to expanding transit and transportation in the upcoming budget reconciliation package, citing equity and racial and economic justice for their constituents.
Sens. Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) joined Sens. Van Hollen and Ossoff on the letter to Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The Banking Committee has authority in the Senate over transit investment in the budget reconciliation bill and a total instruction of $332 billion.
“As members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, representing an array of states with extensive transit needs, we are writing to ask that the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee allocate at least $30 billion for transit in the upcoming reconciliation bill,” the group of Senators wrote. “Transit is vital for urban, suburban, and rural communities across our nation. Investments in transit are a matter of equity and racial and economic justice.”
According to Pew Research, Black Americans are three times less likely to own a car than white Americans, increasing their reliance on public transportation. Among urban residents, Latino Americans are twice as likely compared to white Americans to regularly use transit.
The Senators pointed to the fact that, “expanding transit is also vital to addressing the climate crisis,” and that investments in housing must be paired with investments in transit.
“Transit investments can increase access to affordable housing. Working class families need access to both affordable housing and affordable transportation in order to thrive. Pairing investments in housing and transit will have positive transformational benefits for our neediest communities that will improve our economy and address the climate crisis,” they wrote.
The Senators agree that the transit investment in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, while substantial, was not enough to tackle the transportation crisis in their states and is much less than President Biden originally planned.
“While the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was an important down payment in our nation’s public transportation systems, the legislation included $46 billion less for transit than President Biden proposed in his American Jobs Plan,” the Senators said.
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