Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) voted to save $310 million in highway funding for Georgia from being stripped from the most recent continuing resolution. The money will be used in the state to plan, execute, and maintain highway and bridge projects. McBath also previously urged House leadership to repeal the proposed rescission of a total of $7.6 billion in highway funding. The measure was included in the continuing resolution approved by the House of Representatives to fund important government programs, which passed on a bipartisan vote of 231-192 and now heads for a vote in the Senate.
“As a representative for the metro-Atlanta area, heavy traffic and extended commute times are among the top concerns I hear from community members,” said McBath. “Keeping this funding at home in Georgia is an important step toward updating our infrastructure, decreasing commute times and improving the quality of life of our neighbors”
Earlier this year, McBath joined 109 of her colleagues in signing a letter urging the highway funding rescission be repealed in future funding packages. The text of the letter is below. The continuing resolution passed by the House today avoids a government shutdown while prioritizing the needs of the American people. In addition to protecting funding for important highway projects, this resolution secures a 3.1 percent pay raise for service men and women in uniform and extends funding for key health initiatives, including mental health services, Community Health Centers, and Teaching Health Centers.
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy,
As the first session of the 116th Congress is nearing its end, we will likely be finalizing several important pieces of legislation that will be signed into law. We write to respectfully request that we address the upcoming rescission of $7.6 billion from the last highway bill in one of those bills.
Section 1438 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act would rescind $7.6 billion in unobligated federal-aid highway contract authority on July 1, 2020. This provision was included as a budget offset in the last highway bill, although some have characterized it as gimmick, the real-world impacts on states’ budgets are drastic.
According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, states have approximately $7.9 billion in unobligated contract authority. This rescission will remove nearly all of this authority. Across the board, states will lose precious dollars needed for investment in infrastructure projects. In fact, California will see their contract authority reduced by $693 million and Texas will lose $730 million in contract authority. Every state will lose millions in contract authority, with 32 states losing over $75 million.
States have already started planning for the next construction season next summer. This provision must be addressed soon to ensure that states have enough time to plan for the coming year without disruption. Every one of these dollars represent vital jobs and needed investment in our economy and the movement of goods. These investments will be threatened if we do not act.
We stand ready to work with you to ensure that Congress takes the urgent action that these impending cuts demand.