Tell Your Senator to Support Transit and Green Jobs, Not Highways
Update: Hold those phone calls, folks. Schumer has co-sponsored the Murray/Feinstein amendment, making it highly unlikely that he will offer his own, superior amendment. There are more amendments in the wings — supported by Senate Republicans and some surprising Democrats — that would give highway builders even greater leeway to build dirty, traffic-generating boondoggles. We’ll keep you posted on those developments throughout the day. For now, you can get the message out with this action alert from Transportation for America, telling your Senator that the stimulus package should reduce oil dependence, invest in transit, and spur a green recovery.
Earlier: Debate on the stimulus package is moving rapidly in the Senate today, with amendments debated as I type. There are two amendments on the table right now with big implications for transportation spending. Senator Chuck Schumer’s amendment is the one to throw your support behind. It boosts transit funding to $14.9 billion overall and leaves highway funding untouched.
Another amendment sponsored by Senators Patty Murray and Diane Feinstein would ramp up highway portion of the stimulus from $27 billion to $40 billion, while bringing transit funding up to only $13 billion. Crucially, this amendment would also strike a provision in the current legislation that would allow smaller cities to spend stimulus funds on transit operations.
We’re getting word from Transportation for America that Schumer may pull his amendment to clear the way for the Murray/Feinstein amendment. Schumer’s amendment is superior and would yield more investment in clean transportation and help to keep more buses running. To support green infrastructure and green jobs, call your Senator now and urge them to support Schumer’s amendment, not the Murray/Feinstein amendment. If you’re a New Yorker, it’s especially important to call Schumer’s office — (202) 224 6542 — and encourage the Senator to bring his amendment to the floor.