House of Representatives Passes Comprehensive Bill to Rebuild New Jersey Infrastructure and Accelerate American Economy
(Washington, DC) Today, the House of Representatives passed the INVEST in America Act, a comprehensive bill to revitalize America’s aging infrastructure, accelerate our economic recovery, and help America transition to a clean energy future. The bill would create jobs by investing hundreds of billions of dollars in America’s roads, bridges, tunnels, railways, transit, and wastewater systems, while meeting the challenge of climate change; and includes several of Representative Malinowski’s legislative initiatives to fund the Gateway Program and local infrastructure projects across New Jersey’s 7th district.
Watch Representative Malinowski’s floor remarks in support of the legislation here.
“When I got elected in 2018, I promised to make sure that we get Gateway built and that we move New Jersey’s infrastructure into the 21st century – and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this bill.” said Representative Malinowski. “It will fix our roads and bridges and fund our Hudson Tunnel, but that’s not all — with its investments in rail, mass transit, and electrification of our motor vehicle fleet, it does something as bold and new today as the interstate highway system was in the 1950s."
The bill includes a provision authored by Representative Malinowski to support the development and deployment of construction materials that capture and store greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Carbon capture and storage will need to be a central part of any comprehensive strategy to address climate change, and Representative Malinowski’s provision will help states develop the standards they need to procure and use these materials as they become more commercially available.
Among other provisions, the INVEST in America Act:
- Creates a Projects of National and Regional Significance program, which provides $13 billion for projects, like Gateway, that are too large and complex for full funding under existing programs;
- Includes more than $21 billion for the Capital Investment Grant program, the government’s main source of grant funding for public transit programs like Gateway;
- Triples funding for Amtrak, allowing for enhanced service and new investments along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and National Network. The bill includes record-high funding for the NEC;
- Invests billions of dollars in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, helping the U.S. shift to the next generation of clean vehicles. The bill also directs U.S. federal agencies to establish standards and guidance on EV charging stations, including training of technicians, network connectivity, and physical and payment interoperability;
- Includes measures related to automatic emergency braking and underride guards to improve truck and highway safety; and
- Devotes more than $4 billion for zero-emission bus grants – an average annual increase of 1,500 percent over the funding levels in the previous surface transportation authorization bill.
Several other legislative initiatives spearheaded by Representative Malinowski are included in the bill:
- Representative Malinowski’s bill to make it easier for states to finance their portion of infrastructure projects, such as Gateway;
- Representative Malinowski’s bill to increase transparency in the Capital Investment Grant program by requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation to maintain an online dashboard with details of each applicant’s progress; and
- Key elements of a bill introduced by Chairman Peter DeFazio and Representative Malinowski to ensure that highly-flammable liquified natural gas is not moved through crowded neighborhoods in rail tank cars that are ill-equipped to safely carry it.
The INVEST in America Act also includes 13 member-designated project proposals authored by Representative Malinowski, which would bring $19.79 million in federal funds directly to New Jersey’s 7th district for important local infrastructure projects. These projects include:
- $6,493,600 to complete construction of West County Drive (CR 646) in Branchburg. The project would improve regional traffic flow and accommodate future development in the area;
- $3,340,685 for Somerset County to acquire right-of-way access for a project to alleviate congestion and improve safety at the intersection of First Avenue and Rt. 202 in Raritan;
- $1,280,000 to replace an existing pedestrian bridge over Cole Drive in Bridgewater, and to improve walkways around the New Jersey Transit Bridgewater Station;
- $2,000,000 to raise the height of a low-clearance rail bridge on Berkshire Valley Road in Morris County to mitigate frequent collisions with passing trucks;
- $1,000,000 to repurpose the historic Openaki Bridge Truss in Morris County (previously slated for removal) as a pedestrian bridge on the Columbia Trail in Long Valley – the repurposed truss would create a new direct path on the pedestrian trail over an existing creek;
- $4,560,000 to replace or rehabilitate a series of seven structurally deficient bridges in Union County, including in Cranford, Union Township, Kenilworth, and Summit.
- $1,120,000 for enhancements to the New Jersey Transit Raritan Valley Line Station in Cranford.
Surface transportation programs in the U.S. are currently authorized through September 30, 2021. The INVEST in America Act reauthorizes surface transportation programs through FY 2026.