U.S. Rep. Pete
Visclosky, D-1st, testified today before the House Transportation, Housing
and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee in
support of the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant
Excerpts from his
“My priority for
your Subcommittee in Fiscal Year 2019 remains my resolute support for the
Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant program.
This essential program supports transit projects across our country,
including the expansion and recapitalization of the South Shore Rail Line in
Northwest Indiana. . . .
“As you are well
aware, the budget request last year, in Fiscal Year 2018, represented a cut
of about $800 billion and a request to not fund projects without
full-funding grant agreements. I thank you for your determination to push
back against this proposal and end up with a Fiscal Year 2018 funding level
of $2.6 billion and with language that protects funding for projects in the
pipeline. . . .
we approach Fiscal Year 2019 legislation, we face the same scenario as we
did a year ago. The budget request for Fiscal Year 2019 continues a
misguided approach of a significant decrease in the funding request for the
Capital Investment Grant program, as well as language again that would
eliminate funding for projects without a full-funding grant agreement.
Specifically, the Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal requests $1 billion for
the Capital Investment Grant program, which is $1.6 billion less than the
enacted Fiscal Year 2018 funding level. . . .
“I respectfully ask
that you again flatly reject the inadequate funding level and inappropriate
language restriction proposed in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget request.
Investment Grant program is an integral component of creating economic
growth in communities across our nation. I believe that people today, when
considering where they want to live, work, or raise a family, are looking at
public transportation options. When businesses are considering where they
want to locate, and where they think vibrant new employees and markets
exist, they are looking at public transportation options. When individuals
and families are considering what they want to do this weekend, they are
looking at events and attractions that have close proximity to public
“The investment to
improve and expand the South Shore Rail Line in Northwest Indiana is but one
example of the vast benefits that this program provides to communities
throughout our nation. We have made great strides in Northwest Indiana
because of the bipartisan commitment from local officials, state officials,
businesses, and non-profit organizations. And we cannot allow this progress
to go for naught. . . .
“I want people to
be able to look at Northwest Indiana and say this is how we garner
bipartisan support from all levels of the community and the federal
government, and this is how we create a return on public transit
investments. This is how we attract new people, new businesses, and new jobs
through public transportation infrastructure investments, and this is how we
improve the lives of all current residents in a community and for future