April 21, 2017
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Transit Funding Is APTA's Top Priority as Congress Returns

As members of Congress returned to Capitol Hill following their spring recess, they face a crowded legislative agenda, from tax reform to infrastructure investments, two issues that could very well become linked.

A bipartisan duo from the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I)—Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), chair, and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), ranking member, T&I Subcommittee on Highways and Transit—are circulating a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee requesting that the tax writing committee permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) as part of any tax code reform. The two lawmakers propose that such a move could also help support President Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan.

In addition, Graves and Norton are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter requesting congressional support for their Ways and Means letter, which APTA backs, along with several other transportation groups.

The “Dear Colleague” letter is the latest move in APTA’s aggressive outreach efforts to make the case for continued public transportation in the face of Trump’s proposal to cut major public transit appropriations for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017 and in the FY 2018 budget (the “skinny budget”).

“A long-term solution to the HTF structural deficit would promote increased transportation infrastructure investment and meaningful economic growth in every state,” Graves and Norton wrote to the Ways and Means Committee.

“Over the past 30 years, all HTF revenue enhancements have been included in larger tax and deficit reduction packages,” their letter stated. “Any HTF solution should entail a long-term, dedicated, user-based revenue stream that can support the transportation infrastructure investment supported by President Trump and members of Congress from both parties.”

A final version of the letter is set for distribution in May. APTA strongly recommends that its members encourage their elected officials in the House to support and sign the Graves-Norton letter.

Members can find easy-to-use resources for contacting their elected officials at APTA’s advocacy toolkit. Review all of APTA’s recent advocacy campaign activities in the April 14 Passenger Transport Express.

Infrastructure Advocacy.
In related news, APTA is planning several advocacy-related activities during National Infrastructure Week, May 15-19, including the development of a special toolkit for members. Find details at APTA’s website in the coming days.
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