March 21, 2017

DeFazio Introduces Investing in America: A Penny For Progress Act to Boost Investments for the Nation’s Roads, Bridges, and Transit Systems

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced H.R. 1664, the Investing in America: A Penny for Progress Act, which provides approximately $500 billion in infrastructure investment to rebuild our crumbling network of roads, bridges, and transit systems.

“From the first day of his campaign in 2015, President Trump promised to rebuild the nation’s crumbling network of roads, bridges, transit systems, airports, and railways. Earlier this month, I introduced legislation to deliver on the promise of rebuilding our airports. Today, I am introducing legislation that will provide approximately $500 billion in additional investment for roads, bridges, and transit systems and fill the hole in the Highway Trust Fund. My bill will address our state-of-good-repair backlog, repair or replace deficient bridges, create tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs, and keep us competitive in the world economy. A Penny for Progress is a straightforward, practical bill that deserves consideration,” said DeFazio.


The Investing in America: A Penny For Progress Act finances this additional investment by authorizing Invest in America 30-year Treasury bonds annually, through 2030. This additional infrastructure investment represents a 30 percent increase over current funding levels. For example, in the first year, this bill provides an additional $630 million for formula and discretionary freight programs, $3.2 billion for the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, and $85 million for TIFIA.


To repay the bonds, the bill indexes gas and diesel user fees, which have not increased since 1993, to two factors: the cost of constructing transportation projects (pursuant to the National Construction Cost Index) and reduced motor fuel usage from Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.


The bill is estimated to only raise the gas and diesel user fees by approximately 1 cent per year and includes a hard cap of 1.5 cents per year. [To read a fact sheet on A Penny for Progress, click here.]


Since 2013, 17 States have enacted legislation that will increase their State gas taxes, many of them conservative States. In 2017, additional States are considering higher gas taxes to invest in infrastructure. Conservative governors in Alaska, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama are all supporting or proposing gas tax increases to pay for badly needed investments in their transportation systems. Although States have raised their State gas taxes to meet critical needs, Federal partnership is needed to maintain the Federal highway system. States cannot go it alone. [To read a fact sheet about State gas tax increases, click here.]


Invest in America: A Penny for Progress has received support from:

American Highway Users Alliance

American Public Transportation Association

American Coal Ash Association

American Concrete Pavement Association

American Concrete Pipe Association

American Council of Engineering Companies

 American Iron and Steel Institute

American Road & Transportation Builders Association 

American Subcontractors Association

American Society of Civil Engineers

 American Traffic Safety Services Association

American Trucking Associations

Associated General Contractors of America

Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association

Asphalt Recycling and Reclaiming Association

Associated Equipment Distributors

Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute

Community Transportation Association of America

International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers

International Slurry Surfacing Association

International Union of Operating Engineers

Laborers’ International Union of North America

Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust

National Asphalt Pavement Association

National Association of Surety Bond Producers

National Electrical Contractors Association

National League of Cities

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

National Steel Bridge Alliance

National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association

National Utility Contractors Association

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Portland Cement Association

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute

The Bus Coalition

The Road Information Program

Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

United Parcel Service

U.S. Travel Association