Chairwoman Lowey Statement at Full Committee Markup of FY 2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Funding Bill
WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2021 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies bill:
Thank you, Chairman Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart, for your work on this bill. I also thank the incredible staff for their efforts.
The Fiscal Year 2021 THUD bill represents a forward-looking vision to rebuild our nation and strengthen our communities. Together, we can revitalize our infrastructure, modernize our transportation systems, protect the traveling public, expand access to safe, affordable housing, and support our most vulnerable neighbors.
The emergency funding in this bill is pivotal to kickstart a strong and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic collapse. After an unprecedented year of challenges, the investments in this bill lay the foundations for sustained economic growth and expanded opportunity for every American in every corner of our nation.
This bill would fund safety upgrades on our roads and rails as well as research to improve safety technologies.
It would increase funding for Amtrak by $50 million, which is $1.1 billion above the President’s paltry request, increase funding for the Northeast Corridor Grants by $50 million.
Important to the New Yorkers I represent, this bill provides significant funding for the Gateway project, one of the most important transportation initiatives in our country. Gateway will improve safety for millions and bolster the economy for the entire nation.
In addition, the bill provides $26 billion in emergency funding to strengthen our nation’s aging infrastructure.
Housing is fundamental to every aspect of our lives, but the cost of living, especially housing, continues to place significant strain on our constituents, including seniors, low-income families, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. COVID-19 has only compounded this reality.
This bill would make life-changing investments for Americans including $3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, which the President’s budget request sought to eliminate.
It also increases Tenant-based Rental Assistance and Homeless Assistance Grants, while blocking the Trump Administration’s cruel policies that target mixed immigration status families and transgender people. It also provides $49 billion in emergency funding to mitigate the looming COVID-related housing crisis and ensure our neighbors have a safe and decent place to call home.
I urge support of this bill, which would make dramatic improvements to our nation’s infrastructure and in the day-to-day lives of the people we represent.