Reps. Jim Himes and Elizabeth Esty are speaking out against the Transportation, Housing & Urban Development Appropriations Act, which is expected to be voted on Tuesday night.
The two Democrats from Connecticut say the measure does not adequately fund the nation’s transportation needs.
“This bill is not just bad policy but it is a danger to the safety and economic health of my constituents and to all Americans,” Himes said in a statement. “I’m tired of my constituents having their personal lives damaged, having their safety put at risk, and having their businesses jeopardized because we have not invested enough in our infrastructure.”
On the floor of the House earlier today, Esty said the bill short-changes much-needed highway and rail repairs.
“We need to get serious about investing in our highways and rail infrastructure. Just last Friday, the railroad bridge in Norwalk, Connecticut, failed, stranding thousands of passengers, including our colleague, Congressman Jim Himes,” Esty said. “The bridge–which was built in 1896–is now 118 years old and in desperate need of repair…We should not have to wait until the bridge falls down or the train derails to repair our country’s infrastructure.
“Until we do our job together in this body and fully fund the Department of Transportation, our bridges and roads will continue to fail,” Esty added. “These are, indeed, tough budgetary times, but we must fund our transportation and housing programs to protect and to serve the constituents we represent.”
Esty was also critical of reductions to housing programs contained in the bill, including a $40 million cut in the lead paint reduction program and other cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s low-income housing program.