The United States House of Representatives March 4 overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation that will provide critical investments in our nation’s passenger rail system.
H.R. 749, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA) will ensure that our national passenger rail system continues its mission to connect communities – both large and small – across the country. The legislation passed 316-101.
The bipartisan legislation was sponsored by the top leadership of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, including Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Chairman of the Rail Subcommittee Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Michael Capuano (D-Mass.).
“In every region of the country, including the Pacific Northwest, passenger rail investments boost local economies and create thousands of family-wage construction, engineering, and manufacturing jobs. This bill isn’t perfect—but it was a bipartisan effort that ultimately provides critical investments and system wide improvements to increase capacity and make our railways safer. I’m glad that we were able to pass this legislation in a bipartisan way,” said DeFazio.
The legislation includes important reforms that will increase the number of loans issued to States, local governments, railroads, and shippers to finance the development of railroad infrastructure. The legislation includes strong Buy America provisions that ensure these loans are used to buy American steel, iron, and manufactured goods, boosting American manufacturing and created needed manufacturing jobs.
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