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Bipartisan infrastructure deal could do more harm than good

And your Senator is one of the key deciders

Dear Elizabeth,

The so-called bipartisan infrastructure compromise is being negotiated this week and it's shaping up in ways that are not good. T4America wrote to remind Congress and the White House of four things we must see in that deal.

There are just a handful of Senators determining what will be in this final package. Some are vocally committed to addressing climate change while simultaneously on the cusp of supporting huge new blank checks in this deal for new roads we can’t afford to maintain that will virtually guarantee huge increases in emissions.

We’re writing to you because you live in one of these 22 states below with a key Senator.

Can you call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senator’s office? (You'll need to repeat these steps if you live in AZ, DE, ME, NC, NH, OH, or WV!) It's surprisingly easy and will take just five minutes. Ask to speak to anyone working on the infrastructure deal. Here’s a short script you can use when you get to leave your message:

“I live in [STATE] and I’m calling about the infrastructure deal. I’m glad that we’re investing in infrastructure, but we have to do it right, and this potential deal must do four key things.

First, states are still spending money on new roads we can’t afford to maintain. This deal must prioritize repair with our tax dollars first. Second, we need to invest in transit like we did with highways in the 1950s and 60s to give more people more options for getting around. Third, we need to address the deep inequities in our communities. The House transportation proposal included significant money to tear down highways that destroyed neighborhoods and focus on healing divided communities. That’s the kind of thinking we need in this deal. Lastly, the deal has to prioritize safety for all people on our streets. The ways we currently design and build streets prioritize vehicle speed over the safety of people, and that’s one reason we’re seeing record levels of people being killed on our streets.

That’s all. Thank you for your time.”

Key Senators

ALASKA
Murkowski

ARIZONA
Sinema
Kelly

COLORADO
Hickenlooper

DELAWARE
Carper
Coons

INDIANA
Young

KANSAS
Moran

LOUISIANA
Cassidy

MAINE
Collins
King

MISSISSIPPI
Wicker

MONTANA
Tester

NORTH CAROLINA
Tillis
Burr

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Hassan
Shaheen

NEVADA
Rosen

NEW YORK
Schumer

OHIO
Brown
Portman

PENNSYLVANIA
Toomey

SOUTH CAROLINA
Graham

SOUTH DAKOTA
Rounds

UTAH
Romney

VIRGINIA
Warner

WASHINGTON
Cantwell

WEST VIRGINIA
Capito
Manchin

What’s happening with the deal?

Once in a blue moon it happens: Transportation has been the main topic on Capitol Hill in recent weeks, with the House-approved INVEST Act awaiting Senate action on a final long-term replacement for the current FAST Act.

This week, all eyes are upon the standalone bipartisan infrastructure deal. 

Here are FOUR things we need to see in any deal (in addition to nailing our three principles.)

Actually fix the roads and bridges this time

Here’s an idea: let’s actually require states to do this. No more using the rhetoric of  “repairing our crumbling roads and bridges” to score new money while placing no priority on repair with that money. It’s time to shut off the money spigot for new roads we definitely can't afford to maintain that don't create enough new value to cover their short- or long-term costs.

Commit to transit like we once did with highways

Let’s make the same kind of financial commitment to transit we made at the federal level with the advent of the interstate highway system. Increase transit funding to the level of highways and fund transit operations to provide more buses, more trains, in more places, serving more people. 

Address inequities in our communities

It’s high time to redress wrongs of past and present by providing money to remove highway infrastructure that divides communities and restore the damage that was wrought.

Design and invest in safety for all users

Our existing methods of designing and building streets are inherently unsafe and prioritize vehicle speed over safety. This deal absolutely cannot pour new money into this same old broken system of deadly street design. No more lip service on safety while continuing to produce dangerous streets.

Thanks for your help,

Transportation for America

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