Infrastructure and Jobs
Investing in our infrastructure has historically been a non-partisan issue. However, in recent years, Congress’ investment in addressing America’s crumbling infrastructure has been pathetically weak. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our infrastructure a D+ grade and the World Economic Forum ranks America 24th in infrastructure. Transportation for America estimates that there are 63,000 structurally deficient bridges in the United States – 2088 in New York State and 99 in Western New York alone. Brian has consistently called on Congress to make a bold investment in nation building right here at home. In 2012 he introduced the Nation Building Here at Home Act , which would have invested $1.2 trillion over five years to rebuild our infrastructure, with the potential to create 27 million jobs and reduce unemployment to 5.6 percent.
More on Infrastructure and Jobs
As Western New York prepares to mark the tragic anniversary of the crash of Flight 3407, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is calling on the federal government to persist in demanding the highest level of safety for airline passengers. Higgins voice comes as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is delayed in implementing the changes required in legislation following the crash, and as new concerns are raised relative to pilot training.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), a member of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, provided in an analysis of the Trump Budget, released this week, the devastating impact it would have on the people, neighborhoods and economy of Western New York.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced House passage of H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The legislation protects worker rights by closing loopholes corporations use to exploit workers, expanding collective bargaining rights, strengthening workers’ access to fair union elections, and introducing meaningful penalties for companies and executives that violate employee rights. The bill was cosponsored by Congressman Higgins and passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 224-194.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz provided testimony before the House Budget Committee, of which Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is a member, during a hearing in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, January 15, titled: “Why Federal Investments Matter: Stability from Congress to State Capitals.”
This fiscal year the federal government will provide roughly $750 billion in grants, through a variety of programs, to state and local governments – representing an estimated 3.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product and 16 percent of all federal spending.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced a $1.5 million federal grant awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor to The Service Collaborative of Western New York for their Western New York YouthBuild: Leaders Under Construction Program.
YouthBuild combines education and job skill development for at-risk youth ages 16-24. The Service Collaborative was one of only 67 grant recipients sharing $85 million in YouthBuild grants nationwide.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) applauded momentum on the DL&W Terminal project, saying, “In continued conversations with the leadership of the NFTA, it is clear that they recognize the opportunity and value that comes with revitalization of the DL&W Terminal.
Congressmembers Brian Higgins (NY-26) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) introduced the Fire Department Proper Response and Equipment Prioritization Act (FD PREP Act) to better equip firefighters to respond to train accidents. The FD PREP Act, H.R. 4987, would direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to categorize hazmat operations, training, and equipment acquisition relating to crude oil and ethanol rail traffic as “high priority” within its Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives in solidarity with thousands of United Auto Workers who have spent the last five weeks on strike following the expiration of their contract with General Motors in September.
Higgins said in part, “The United Auto Workers made sacrifices to keep GM whole when the automaker faced bankruptcy ten years ago. Now those workers simply want to keep their families whole with good healthcare, fair wages, and job security.”
After discussions early this week related to the future of Western New York’s roads and bridges, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) went to Washington, D.C. to fight for action on a substantial federal investment in infrastructure.
In remarks on the Floor, Higgins said, “Our roads are crumbling, our water infrastructure is breaking, and our transit systems are inadequate and outdated. The situation couldn’t me more urgent and the opportunity couldn’t be more obvious.”