February 06, 2019

House Passes Bills from Transportation and Infrastructure Committee


WASHINGTON, DC-- Today, the United States House of Representatives passed five bills from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. These pieces of legislation will help the Pacific Northwest prepare for catastrophic earthquakes, require Congressional notification of commuter rail safety assessments, require public buildings to accommodate breastfeeding mothers, and establish a commission to commemorate Route 66.

“I applaud Chair Norton, Ranking Member Davis, and Representatives Sires and Cicilline for their work to move these important bills forward. I am also pleased that my legislation to help communities in the Pacific Northwest plan for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis was passed. We must take the threat of a catastrophic earthquake seriously, and this legislation is a good step forward. I encourage the Senate to take up these bills and look forward to seeing them signed into law,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

“These bills will provide more transparency to our rail safety programs, improve preparedness for communities prone to earthquakes, ensure adequate accommodations in public buildings for new mothers, and honor and designate some of America’s historic and scenic highways.  I want to thank Chairman DeFazio for working with us in approving these bills, all of which passed our committee last Congress,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO):


H.R. 876 – Pacific Northwest Earthquake Preparedness Act of 2019 (Rep. Peter A. DeFazio)

H.R. 876 directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a plan to identify funds to purchase the equipment necessary for an earthquake early warning system and establish an Earthquake and Tsunami Task Force to develop a comprehensive strategy and recommendations on how the U.S. should prepare and plan for, mitigate against, respond to, recover from, and more successfully adapt to an earthquake, tsunami, or combined earthquake and tsunami event in the Cascadia Subduction Zone.


H.R. 866 – Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act of 2019 (Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton)

H.R. 866 requires certain public buildings that have a public restroom to provide a lactation room, other than a bathroom, to be available for use by members of the public to express milk.  


“The benefits of breastfeeding are well-documented, and federal agencies have encouraged breastfeeding,” said Congresswoman Norton.  “Considering that millions of people visit federal sites across the country, it is essential that we ensure nursing mothers have access to designated, private and hygienic lactation spaces in our federally owned or leased buildings. Our bill importantly does not require new federal funds or new or exclusive spaces to be permanently set aside, only that space must be available as needed.  I am grateful for the bipartisan support our bill has received, and I look forward to working with our friends in the Senate to enact it into law,” said Chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).


H.R. 543 – To require the Federal Railroad Administration to provide appropriate congressional notice of comprehensive safety assessments conducted with respect to intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation (Rep. Albio Sires)

H.R. 543 requires the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) to provide Members of Congress with notice when a comprehensive safety assessment is being conducted on an intercity or commuter rail transit agency that serves their district. 


H.R. 66 – Route 66 Centennial Commission Act (Rep. Rodney Davis)

H.R. 66 establishes a Route 66 Centennial Commission to honor Route 66 and make plans to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the road in 2026.  


“Route 66 is a symbol of American independence and prosperity.  I am proud to have America’s most iconic road run through the middle of my district and it’s important we celebrate its history.  This bill will create a commission to honor the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026 and will create a plan to ensure the historic road is preserved for future generations.  I want to thank Chairman DeFazio, Ranking Member Graves, Rep. Napolitano, and my colleagues for their support of this legislation that will preserve one of our nation’s treasures,” said Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Highways and Transit Subcommittee Ranking Member.

“Cities in my district have begun to reinvest in Route 66, recognizing its historic significance and how it continues to provide transportation, economic, and community benefits to our region and American society today,” said Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment and co-sponsor of the legislation. “The federal government should be involved in these efforts as well. I thank Congressman Davis for reintroducing this legislation with me and helping move this bill quickly at the start of this Congress.”

H.R. 831 – Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act of 2019 (Rep. David Cicilline)

H.R. 831 ensures that there is a process once again for States, tribes, and Federal land management agencies to request National Scenic Byways designations for roads that meet the scenic byways criteria.


“Louisiana’s historical byways weave through her natural beauty and help tell the story of our history and unique culture.  They are critical to preserving our heritage, growing our economy for the future and caring for our rural communities,” said Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Aviation and co-sponsor of the legislation.