CONGRESSWOMAN JOHNSON SECURES $86,250,000 FOR DART AND $250,000 FOR THE MARTIN LUTHER KING FAMILY CENTER IN 2008 TRANSPORTATION, HUD APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Washington, DC (Wednesday, November 14, 2007) Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson today called on President Bush to make the enactment of the 2008 Transportation, HUD appropriations bill, a top priority before Congress adjourns this year.
Congresswoman Johnson successfully secured $86,250,000 for Dallas Area Rapid Transit's new Green Line, currently under construction. Congresswoman Johnson also secured $250,000 for the Martin Luther King Family Center in Dallas.
The Administration said today that the President intends to veto the bill.
"The Transportation and Housing conference report addresses the important challenges of community development and keeping our transportation system safe and strong, and does so in a way that strengthens the economy and is environmentally responsible," stated Congresswoman Johnson. The Transportation and Housing Conference Report provides approximately $70 billion in federal funds for vital community development projects, highway, transit and other critical infrastructure programs throughout the country.
"Contrary to President Bush’s stance, our country cannot continue to put an arbitrary cost ceiling on investment in our public works. Simply put, this legislation is about meeting our commitments to the nation on protecting lives and livelihoods through bolstering our crumbling infrastructure."
Specifically, the conference report invests:
· Community Development Block Grants: $3.79 billion, $100 million above 2007, rejecting the President’s plan to cut the program by $822 million, to fund community and economic development projects in 1,180 localities. This level is still $400 million below 2001.
· $40 billion in the nation’s highway system for construction of new roads, repairs and improvements;
· $1 billion to address deficient bridges across America – accepting Senator Patty Murray’s amendment for a 25 percent boost to bridge funding – following the 1-35 collapse;
· Sufficient funds to renew all current housing vouchers, and provides 15,500 new vouchers for veterans, the disabled, and low income families;
· A 500 % increase in funds to alleviate problems caused by the sub-prime mortgage crisis by providing housing counseling to help homeowners stay in their homes;
· $3.5 billion for airport efficiency, modernization and safety grants;
· $1.45 billion for Amtrak;
· $110 million to provide access to air travel in rural communities; and
· Over $85 million to improve pipeline and rail safety.
The House will soon vote on an override of the President’s cruel veto.