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house Bill H.R. 2

$1.5 Trillion For Highways, Public Transit, Airports, & Energy Efficiency Programs

Argument in favor

This transformational bill would invest $1.5 trillion in upgrading America’s highways, public transit, and aviation infrastructure while taking significant steps to rebuild schools & hospitals, and improving energy efficiency in both transportation & infrastructure.

jimK's Opinion
···
06/30/2020
Our infrastructure has been crumbling more and more year by year. I like the inclusion of energy efficiency improvements as part of the process. It is not clear which businesses would have the most to gain from this legislation so it is doubtful that this bill would get past the trumpublican Senate. It should still be pushed to get some public debate started. We will hopefully have corrected the trumpublican domination of the Senate and have ridden ourselves of Morbidity Mitch, our country’s archbishop of trumpublican evil - and we can continue to debate the bill and get our infrastructure repairs underway early next year.
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Leslie's Opinion
···
06/30/2020
Much needed repair of crumbling infrastructure as well as provide jobs for all the unemployed will give the economy a much needed boost! @Jill: My father-in-law, a civil engineer warned us that bridges in the Washington DC area were about to collapse and needed replacement around the Reagan era.
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Dicr's Opinion
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06/30/2020
While we need to get the economy rolling I worry the thief in chief will steal as much of the funds he can. He’s proven not even money earmarked for our military families is safe.
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Argument opposed

This bill represents nothing more than a partisan messaging bill, as Democrats opted against a bipartisan process in favor of advancing climate change policies from the “green new deal” at the expense of making real improvements to transportation & infrastructure programs.

Mark's Opinion
···
07/01/2020
All of this pork rolled into a CoVid19 bill. I have yet to see a pothole suffering from a virus infection.
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B.R.'s Opinion
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06/30/2020
I would not support this bill as written. While some of the items are needed and long over due, the Democrats screw up the bill by adding non-related crap.
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operaman's Opinion
···
07/01/2020
The devil is in the details. 1.5$Trillion! Republicans, don't reach for the Democrat carrots. Read US History on the Republic and relive the struggle of building our nation. Let's face it, the founding fathers did the grunt work. It's your time to smooth the rough edges of our future. A democrat.future will oversee stagnation.
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What is House Bill H.R. 2?

This bill — the Moving Forward Act — would provide more than $1.5 trillion in funding for projects involving upgrades to highways, public transit, and airports, in addition to overhauling schools & hospitals, all while prioritizing energy efficiency. A breakdown of the 2,309 page bill can be found below.

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION

This section would reauthorize federal surface transportation programs for federal aid highways, transit, and safety programs at FY2020 levels through FY2021. It would also:

  • Authorize an additional $14.742 billion in contract authority from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Highway Account above FY2020 levels, and distribute those funds according to existing formulas. Funds made available under this section could be used for the broadest construction eligibilities under the federal aid highway program, as well as transportation-related administrative expenses, including salaries and benefits.

  • Authorize an additional $5.79 billion in contract authority from the Federal Transit Administration’s Mass Transit Account above FY2020 levels and allow funds obligated in FY2021 to be up to 100% federal share. Funds could be used for both capital & operating expenses, including the purchase of personal protective equipment & paying for administrative leave costs due to reductions in service. Transit agencies would have to use these funds to the maximum extent possible for payroll & provision of public transit service.

  • Authorize a total of $257.4 billion in contract authority for FY2022-2025 would be authorized for the federal aid highways program, and the Dept. of Transportation’s (DOT) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program would be reauthorized. It would authorize administrative expenses for the FHWA for FY2022-2025, and establish distribution formulas for nine federal-aid highway programs apportioned to states.

  • Enact a requirement for tolling agreements to be made with the FHWA would be reinstated, which would entail project sponsors consider factors such as congestion & air quality impacts on the toll facility & non-tolled roads onto which traffic may be diverted, planned investments to improve public transportation or non-tolled alternatives in the corridor, environmental justice & equity impacts, impacts on freight movements, and economic impacts. Public transportation vehicles & intercity buses can use new toll facilities without paying a toll.

  • Ensure that only low emission & hybrid single occupancy vehicles can utilize high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.

  • Add “construction materials” to the materials covered by Buy America requirements, and ensure a public process before waiving Buy America requirements.

  • Establish a Projects of National & Regional Significance (PNRS) program with roughly $9 billion over the life of the bill for large highway, transit, and passenger & freight rail projects that reduce congestion on roadway & can’t be funded through annual apportionments or other discretionary sources.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

This section would authorize $66.3 billion in contract authority for FY2022-2025 for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). It would require transit agencies to respond to intercity and charter bus requests for reasonable access within 75 days, restore the ability to incorporate art into transit facilities, and create a uniform and customer-friendly Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint process. Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) would be required to consider carbon pollution & emissions reduction, climate change, resilience, and hazard mitigation throughout the planning process.

It would also create a new competitive program funded at $100 million annually to increase bus frequency, ridership, and total person throughput by redesigning urban streets and corridors to efficiently move transit vehicles in congested urban areas. The current incentive formula based on low operating costs would be replaced with a formula based on vehicles per hour during peak service in the highest 25% of routes by ridership. This would incentivize ridership rather than low-cost bus operations, and the formula change would begin in 2023.

Buy American provisions would be reformed to close loopholes that allow waived components & components exceeding 70% domestic content to receive credit for 100% domestic content. It would incentivize higher domestic content by including final assembly costs into the domestic content calculation, providing an automatic 2.5% increase in domestic content if a zero-emission vehicle uses domestic battery cells, providing a bonus of 10% of domestic content for any component that exceeds 70%, and providing a bonus of 15% of domestic content for any component that exceeds 75%.

HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY

This section would authorize $4.3 billion in contract authority for FY2022-2025 for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration program grants. It would create new state highway safety program requirements to address the risk of leaving children or other unattended occupants in vehicles when there is a risk of hyperthermia; the proper use of child safety seats, including booster seats, with an emphasis on underserved populations; and to reduce deaths & injuries resulting from violations of state ‘move over laws’ which require drivers to reduce their speed or change lanes when there is an emergency or other vehicle parked on or near a roadway.

States which have legalized marijuana would be required to consider additional programs to increase public awareness of the dangers of marijuana-impaired driving and to reduce injuries and fatalities resulting from marijuana-impaired driving.

It would also authorize $2.2 billion in contract authority for FY2022-2025 for motor carrier safety grants under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to assist states in truck and bus safety oversight and enforcement activities, commercial driver licensing, and technology improvements to support those efforts. Additionally, it would authorize $1.5 billion for FY2022-2025 for FMCSA’s motor carrier safety operations & programs.

INNOVATION

This section would authorize $2.2 billion in contract authority for FY2022-2025 for research & development programs. It would establish a new comprehensive research, development, and deployment pipeline to advance the use of greener construction materials, which would award grants to universities to research greener material designs & practices during the production & construction process, including materials to sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

The Non-Traditional & Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council would issue guidance within 18 months of enactment to establish a clear regulatory framework for hyperloop transportation.

The DOT would be directed to study how automated vehicles will safely interact with general road users, including vulnerable road users such as bicyclists & pedestrians. 

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TRANSPORTATION

This section would prohibit DOT from issuing any regulation ensuring the safety of transporting lithium batteries in air cargo compartments of passenger & cargo planes if the regulations are more stringent than the lowest common denominator of international standards. The DOT would rescind any authorization for the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail tank car issued before the date of enactment. 

RAIL

This section would authorize $29.3 billion over five years in grants to support Amtrak’s intercity passenger rail service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) & the National Network. It would provide Amtrak with higher funding levels for FY2021-22 than subsequent years to mitigate the effects  of COVID-19 on its network. Amtrak’s mission and goals would be revised to reflect congressional priorities, and clarify that Amtrak serves the public interest in providing reliable passenger rail service.

Smoking & vaping on Amtrak trains, including electronic cigarettes, would be prohibited. Any individual onboard a train who prepares food & beverage service would be required to be an Amtrak employee.

Railroad carriers providing intercity or commuter rail passenger transportation would be required to survey their systems and develop plans identifying each main track location where a reduction of more than 20 miles-per-hour exist to ensure compliance with the maximum authorized speed at each location, describe actions to enable warning & enforcement of maximum authorized speed, and set milestones for implementing such actions.

AVIATION

This section would authorize $4 billion from the Airport & Airway Trust Fund for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program for fiscal years 2021-2025.

WATER INFRASTRUCTURE

This section would provide the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Construction account with $10 billion to carry out the backlog of authorized water resources development projects. It would also authorize a total of $40 billion in funding authorizations for Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs, plus $1.5 billion over FY2021-2025 in grants to assist states in implementing state water quality improvement programs, and $1 billion for municipalities to carry out watershed, wet weather, and resiliency projects.

ENERGY & COMMERCE

This section would appropriate $80 billion to fund competitive bidding systems to build broadband infrastructure, of which 75% would be used for a nationwide system of competitive bidding to fund broadband deployment in underserved areas. The remaining 25% of funds would be distributed among states by population, and states would conduct statewide systems of competitive bidding for broadband deployment in unserved areas, areas with low-tier service, and to unserved anchor institutions. If a state doesn’t have unserved areas or areas with low-tier service, funding may be used for broadband deployment in areas with mid-tier service.

MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY

This section would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a final rule requiring vehicles to be equipped with a system that detects the presence of a child or other occupant left unattended in a vehicle and issues warnings to prevent vehicular heatstroke.

Minimum performance standards would be established for 21st century smart cars and all new passenger motor vehicles would be required to be equipped with advanced driver assistance systems.

NHTSA would be directed to prescribe a motor vehicle safety standard requiring passenger motor vehicles to be equipped with an advanced drunk driving prevention system that detects if the driver is intoxicated.

This section would also mandate that limousines meet federal standards for safety belts, seats, and seat assemblies and close a loophole allowing used vehicles to be converted into limousines without meeting federal safety standards.

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

A research program within the Dept. of Energy would be established for energy storage systems, components, and materials with $175 million annually for FY2021-2025; plus $100 million annually for technical assistance and grant programs; and $150 million annually for demonstration programs.

A grant program for states to improve the performance of the natural gas distribution program would be authorized with $250 million annually for FY2021-2025. A grant program for solar installations located in, or that serve, low-income & underserved areas would be authorized with $200 million annually for FY2021-2025.

DOE would be required to establish a Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program to provide rebate to homeowners for retrofits that achieve home energy savings. It would include $800 for the installation of insulation & air sealing, or $1,500 for the installation of insulation, air sealing, and replacement of a hearing, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Minimum criteria would be established for states to receive grant funding under the program. Homeowners performing retrofits projected to save at least 20% of energy usage would be eligible for a $2,000 rebate; while retrofits projected to save at least 40% of energy usage would be eligible for a $4,000 rebate. This section would authorize $1 billion annually for FY2021-2025 for this program, and DOE would provide technical support for contractors, rebate aggregators, states, and tribes to assist in carrying out the program.

The Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant Program would be authorized with $3.5 billion annually for FY2021-2025.

HEALTHCARE INFRASTRUCTURE

The Community Health Center Capital Project grants would be funded with $10 billion in total funding for FY2021-2025, and it would be required that any awards be used for projects that will increase energy efficiency, energy resiliency, or a greater use of renewable energy. A pilot program to improve laboratory infrastructure would be authorized with $4.5 billion in total funding for FY2021-2025. 

The Indian Health Service (IHS) would be provided with $5 billion in total funding for FY2021-2025 for the planning, design, construction, modernization, and renovation of hospitals & outpatient healthcare facilities within the agency.

OTHER PROGRAMS

The Postal Service would be authorized with $25 billion in funding for the modernization of postal infrastructure & operations, with $6 billion reserved for the purchase of new vehicles. The Postal Service would be required to use funds to purchase electric or zero-emission vehicles to replace its current right-hand-drive vehicles to the maximum extent practicable, with at least 75% of the new fleet such vehicles.

The Public Housing Capital Fund would be authorized with $70 billion to address the estimated backlog of physical repairs needed to maintain safe & decent housing. An additional $5 billion would be authorized to the National Housing Trust Fund to support creation, rehabilitation, or preservation of housing that would be affordable to the lowest income households. The Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) program would be authorized with $5 billion for the construction, purchase, or rehabilitation of affordable rental & homeownership opportunities for low-income & very low-income people, and at least 10% of the funding would have to be used for green housing investments.

The Community Development Block Grant program would be authorized with $10 billion for a new competitive allocation of funding for states, localities, and territories for a broad range of affordable housing & community development activities.

A total of $100 billion would be authorized from FY2020-2024 for grants to be used for the long-term improvement of public school facilities. States would have through FY2029 to use the funding.

REVENUE

This section would authorize several ways to partially offset the cost of this bill, including:

  • Build American Bonds that would allow issuers to receive a tax credit equal to an applicable percentage of interest to provide direct support for infrastructure investments made by state & local governments. The credit for interest paid on qualified bonds would total 42% for 2020-2024, 38% in 2025, 34% in 2026, and 30% in 2027 and thereafter.

  • Qualified highway or surface transfer facility bonds would have their limit increase to $18.750 billion and Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements would be in effect for projects funded with bond proceeds.

  • New Markets Tax Credit totalling $7 billion for 2020, $6 billion for 2021, $5 billion for 2022 & thereafter.

Impact

State & local highway & transit projects; agencies & companies administering such projects; and federal transportation agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthHouse Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) offered the following statement after his committee advanced this legislation:

“For far too long, Congress has taken a pass on trying to solve the toughest problems plaguing our surface transportation system, allowing it to limp along and fall farther and farther behind the rest of the world. That all changes with the [Moving Forward Act], transformational legislation that moves our country into a new era of smarter, safer, more resilient infrastructure that fits our changing economy and society.”

Committee Republicans expressed opposition to this legislation in the committee report, in which they wrote:

“Democrats excluded Republicans from the process of bill drafting, which prevented bipartisan legislation. H.R. 2, as amended, prioritizes climate change policy and top-down regulations and policies that fail to strengthen our core surface transportation programs. In fact, Chair DeFazio noted during the Democrat infrastructure package press conference; which ostentatiously occurred while in recess during markup, “This is the application of the principles of the green new deal.” At a time of great uncertainty in America, we should not further jeopardize our transportation policies with these partisan messaging provisions rather than true solutions.”

This legislation passed the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee on a party-line 35-25 vote and has the support of 129 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Andrei Stanescu)

AKA

Moving Forward Act

Official Title

To authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed July 1st, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 233 Yea / 188 Nay
    IntroducedJune 11th, 2020

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    Our infrastructure has been crumbling more and more year by year. I like the inclusion of energy efficiency improvements as part of the process. It is not clear which businesses would have the most to gain from this legislation so it is doubtful that this bill would get past the trumpublican Senate. It should still be pushed to get some public debate started. We will hopefully have corrected the trumpublican domination of the Senate and have ridden ourselves of Morbidity Mitch, our country’s archbishop of trumpublican evil - and we can continue to debate the bill and get our infrastructure repairs underway early next year.
    Like (133)
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    All of this pork rolled into a CoVid19 bill. I have yet to see a pothole suffering from a virus infection.
    Like (43)
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    Much needed repair of crumbling infrastructure as well as provide jobs for all the unemployed will give the economy a much needed boost! @Jill: My father-in-law, a civil engineer warned us that bridges in the Washington DC area were about to collapse and needed replacement around the Reagan era.
    Like (61)
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    While we need to get the economy rolling I worry the thief in chief will steal as much of the funds he can. He’s proven not even money earmarked for our military families is safe.
    Like (56)
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    This bill is integral to our country’s economy. One critical element that should be included is the Buy American provision. Infrastructure projects should use materials sourced in the US when tax dollars are being spent to fund those projects!
    Like (38)
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    Yay! We have needed to build our crumbling infrastructure for decades! This will also create much needed jobs!
    Like (35)
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    We really NEED this. I wish they would include support for railroads.
    Like (27)
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    I would not support this bill as written. While some of the items are needed and long over due, the Democrats screw up the bill by adding non-related crap.
    Like (27)
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    Yes as long as nothing passes until next year. I absolutely do not want ass clown or his cult to even have the possibility of touching a penny of this. Not ass clown’s construction company, (There should be a construction company right? After all, he is the greatest builder of all time!) or through connections—nothing, zero, zilch, nada, no money to ass clown. We do know he likes to get this for that. He’s a cheater
    Like (21)
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    Wow. Part of the government is working. What a great way to get people who need them, jobs. Plus It would invest $1.5 trillion in upgrading America’s highways, public transit, and aviation infrastructure while taking significant steps to rebuild schools & hospitals, and improving energy efficiency in both transportation & infrastructure.
    Like (20)
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    The devil is in the details. 1.5$Trillion! Republicans, don't reach for the Democrat carrots. Read US History on the Republic and relive the struggle of building our nation. Let's face it, the founding fathers did the grunt work. It's your time to smooth the rough edges of our future. A democrat.future will oversee stagnation.
    Like (20)
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    Is it needed?....You bet!......but, everytime it's "Infrastructure week" with this administration....all hell has broken loose , if you remember and with all that is going on.....I'm not feeling lucky
    Like (16)
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    The partisan politics need to stop and congress needs to work together for the betterment of the country.
    Like (16)
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    We do need infrastructure spending and improvements in this country, and hopefully it can help get people back to work. A majority of Americans support green initiatives that will fight climate change, so this bill should prioritize sustainability and energy efficiency. Anybody against this is just standing in the way while the world burns.
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    Fix our infrastructure, it’s why you’re elected
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    As I read the pros of this it smacked of a hidden agenda and then the cons confirmed my suspicions. This would cost taxpayers into poverty into infinity. It’s an absolute no for me.
    Like (13)
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    Use this time to rebuild infrastructure so when we overcome the pandemic our economy can recover quicker
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    What? We are now worried about roads, infrastructure, etc.? We have needed these for 12 years. However, our GOP friends have been the party of “ we aren’t giving Obama a win” and now they have Putin’s puppet (DJT) and they want to actually work on America while denying tRump knew Russia was putting a bounty on our men and women who serve our country. DISGRACEFUL! FIRE them all. Send them home to their states to serve their time in prison. Disgusting.
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    ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC BOONDOGGLE This bill represents nothing more than a partisan messaging bill, as Democrats opted against a bipartisan process in favor of advancing climate change policies from the “green new deal” at the expense of making real improvements to transportation & infrastructure programs. I agree in not supporting this bill as written. While some of the items are needed and long over due, the Democrats screw up the bill by adding non-related crap. im in full ahtteement eith MARK in that ‘’All of this pork rolled into a CoVid19 bill. I have yet to see a pothole suffering from a virus infection.’’ SneakyPete. 👎👎👎👎👎 7.1.20
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    Brian, unfortunately, I have “Comrade” Rep. Brady who will probably vote “No”, while the Congress passes the bill, and then Cruz and Cornyn can take a very, very, very long vacation waiting for “Moscow” Mitch to bring it up in the Senate since it’s not about a judge!!😫😩
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