The IAM and a coalition of labor unions sent a letter voicing their support for the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684).
Rail labor organizations, including the IAM also wrote a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives expressing strong support for the INVEST in America Act.
U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ) introduced the five-year surface transportation bill that directs federal investments in roads, bridges, transit, and rail. This legislation will improve safety, create thousands of good-paying jobs, and secure a future with a vibrant freight and passenger rail industry.
The letter echoed support for the expansion of Buy America to include construction materials for highway projects and a strong commitment to American manufacturing and American workers.
“American workers, both union and non-union, want to provide the necessary domestic materials for infrastructure and construction while allowing reasonable waiver flexibility to ensure that we maximize domestic supply chains and build back better,” wrote the union coalition. “Sectors such as steel, concrete, asphalt, aggregates, and others throughout the transportation supply chain are highly unionized and support highly unionized and support high road, family-sustaining jobs. We urge you to continue your support for Buy America.”
“This legislation will bolster our infrastructure and provide needed investment in our passenger and freight rail,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Thanks to the leadership of Chairs DeFazio, Norton, and Payne for moving this vital legislation out of committee. This bill will allow our nation’s transit, freight, and passenger rail sectors to expand to meet the increasing demand. We look forward to working to gain the support of other members of Congress to make this legislation a reality.”
“The Committee’s passing of this Act is a great step towards protecting and securing the livelihoods of our rail members,” said Richard Johnsen, Chief of Staff to the International President. “We must keep pressuring Congress to pass this much-needed legislation which will help ensure the future viability of the rail industry.”
“The benefits of transformative investments in our infrastructure are far-ranging: we can create and sustain good-paying jobs, many of which don’t require a college degree, restore our global competitiveness, tackle climate change head-on, and improve the lives of all Americans through modern infrastructure that emphasizes mobility and access, and spurs our country’s long-term economic growth,” said Chair DeFazio.
“As chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, I believe the country today requires a new and more comprehensive approach well beyond our prior bills,” said Chair Norton.
“The INVEST in America Act will bring America’s aging rail infrastructure into the 21st century,” said Chairman Payne.
The bill includes investments of $109 billion in transit and $95 billion in passenger and freight rail, including historic funding levels for Amtrak and its operational and capital needs. It supports the growth of new rail operations, including high-speed rail.