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The Senate must fix the infrastructure deal 

As you may have read this week, the Senate is moving quickly to pass a huge, historic infrastructure deal before Congress leaves town in August. This $1.2 trillion proposal, though enormous in scope and containing some exciting new investments in things like electric vehicles or a modest amount to tear down divisive freeways, falls far short of our core goals of prioritizing maintenance, safety, and access. 

Time is short to improve this deal—call your Senators today and use our short script at the bottom of this email.

What you may not be hearing:

This deal uses the bad, status-quo-supporting, five-year transportation bill the Senate passed a few months ago as the guide for investing $682 billion in transportation infrastructure.

E.g, while there’s indeed a historic amount of transit funding, it comes with an equally historic amount for roads and zero requirement to prioritize repair. The status quo means extra hoops for transit projects to jump through while ineffective highway expansion projects sail through with extra funding and no strings attached. Status quo means states continuing to get ever-increasing amounts of money to design streets that are dangerous by design, with no penalty for the skyrocketing numbers of deaths.

Say hello to decades of increasing emissions due to a bill the White House believes is a down payment on our climate future.

How much bad do we need to turn a blind eye to in order to accomplish a few small good things? We’re not settling for that deal anymore, and we don’t think you should either.

There’s still a chance to make this deal better, and a few key amendments could make a big difference.

Make your call

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senator’s office. 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. While I’m certainly glad that we’re near a deal to invest in our country’s infrastructure, we have to do more than invest in the same way we always have. As the Senate considers the deal this week, I urge you to SUPPORT these following four amendments:

  • The Kaine amendment (2373), which would require a “fix it first" approach to highway funding. 
  • The Klobuchar amendment (2301), which would require states to reduce traffic death targets and end the practice of planning for them to increase with no penalty.
  • The Warnock amendment (2167) (& Cardin 2176), which would increase funding for reconnecting communities divided and damaged by highways from $3 billion up to $5 billion
  • The Cardin amendment (2465), which would implement a transportation greenhouse gas (GHG) performance measure to finally start considering the climate impacts of our transportation projects.

These are the kinds of improvements we need to get beyond the status quo for infrastructure. That’s all. Thank you for your time.”

After your call

Call today and let us know how it goes via email or Twitter! Don’t forget to call back a second time to reach both of your Senators. Once you make a call, read our statement about the draft deal so far from T4America director Beth Osborne:

“Though this bill contains the largest federal investments in both public transit and electric vehicle recharging, these noble efforts to drive down emissions will be undermined by equally historic levels of highway spending that will produce higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions, as it always has. This funding package will provide a small amount of funding for reconnecting communities divided by highways and other infrastructure while providing hundreds of times more funding to build and expand highways creating new divisions. 

“You cannot fill a hole with a teaspoon that’s still being dug with an excavator."

Thanks for your help,

Transportation for America

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