Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Keith Ellison (MN-05) and Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), applauded the inclusion of language encouraging the establishment of an “accessibility performance measure” in the report to accompany the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017, which was passed by the Appropriations Committee Tuesday.
The Progressive Caucus believes that measuring access to economic opportunity is crucial to effective transportation planning. CPC Members Ellison, Grijalva, Waters and Carson were proud to work with Representative Quigley, who has been a strong supporter of transportation accessibility on the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, and included the accessibility language in the bill report.
“Too many Americans are left behind because they are unable to get around, whether it’s to a job interview, a day care center, or a classroom.” Rep. Ellison said. “We can help these Americans by creating more affordable, accessible transportation options. Doing so will help reduce poverty and unemployment, and ease the financial burdens on working Americans and their families. I’m pleased that the Appropriations Committee has included our accessibility performance measure in THUD, and hope it will be included in the final language.”
“An investment in transportation is also an investment in new opportunities for any community involved,” Rep. Grijalva said. “These funds have the power to fix crumbling roads and help fight poverty at the same time, but only if we insist on them targeting the communities that need them most. The accessibility performance measure in the FY2017 THUD report will do just that, and I applaud its inclusion.”
The Progressive Caucus has been pushing for an accessibility performance measure for some time. Last fall, the Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs introduced H.R. 3788, The Mobility, Opportunity, and Vocation Enabling (MOVE) Act, which would direct the Secretary of Transportation to develop performance measures that help ensure our transportation networks are connecting people to more job opportunities, providing a greater variety of options for getting around, and fully serving all Americans. CPC Members Reps. Waters and Carson introduced the Carson-Waters Amendment to the FAST Act to ensure transportation equity for urban communities. This amendment was based on the Integrated Transportation and Economic Development Act (H.R. 3740), which Congresswoman Waters introduced in October 2015.