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Washington, D.C. — The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and its statewide affiliates from five key states lauded the passage of landmark legislation designed to create jobs by investing in efforts to curb climate change through an important committee.
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved the INVEST in America Act that would help to set the foundation for President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. The American Jobs plan is a once-in-a-generation comprehensive proposal to put the United States on the path to addressing our global climate crisis by investing $2.2 trillion to create millions of good-paying, high-quality jobs rebuilding the United States’ crumbling infrastructure.
“We applaud Chairman DeFazio for his leadership on this comprehensive surface transportation bill which will help to move our country toward a pollution-free future while creating good jobs in the process,” said Sara Chieffo, LCV Vice President of Government Affairs. “The INVEST in America Act includes transformative investments that will help maintain and improve public transit, accelerate fleet transition to zero-emission vehicles, and strengthen passenger rail. This is just the beginning – it’s time for Congress to pass the full American Jobs Plan — the plan that centers climate, clean energy, jobs, and justice and has the backing of labor unions, environmental justice leaders, businesses, and local leaders from across the country. We must seize this opportunity to make once-in-a-generation progress.”
Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, New York League of Conservation Voters, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, and Oregon League of Conservation Voters hailed votes to approve the INVEST in America Act from members of Congress from their states.
“People don’t tend to think of committees as thrilling catalysts of great change, but the legislation passed out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will change the world,” said Josh McNeil, executive director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania. “Pennsylvanians and our fellow Americans will gain good jobs, breathe cleaner air, and enjoy modern trains, bridges, and water pipes because of this moment.”
In Pennsylvania, Rep. Conor Lamb was a key ally in shepherding this bill out of committee.
“Investments in public transit and modernizing our electric grid will create well-paying union jobs while helping to curb harmful emissions that cause climate change and exacerbate public health problems, including asthma and heart disease, that disproportionately affect communities of color,” said Ed Potosnak, executive director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “We want to thank our environmental champions for moving this critical legislation through Congress.”
In New Jersey, Reps. Donald Payne, who chairs the Subcommittee on Railroads, and Tom Malinowski voted in favor of advancing the legislation.
Today’s move represents an important step in Congress advancing the president’s infrastructure agenda. Following this key committee vote, and we expect the INVEST in America Act will soon be up for a vote on the House floor.
“We constantly receive new data confirming the urgency of reducing emissions that cause climate change and health problems, especially in frontline and fenceline communities,” said Maryland LCV executive director Kim Coble. “We thank Maryland’s congressional delegation for recognizing the critical role reforming transportation policy must play in putting people to work while protecting our environment and our most vulnerable communities.”
“As Washington prepares to finalize the American Jobs Plan, New York congressmembers are helping to make it a reality,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Transportation is the leading contributor to climate change in New York and nationwide. The INVEST in America Act, which is in line with the goals of the American Jobs Plan, would fund mass transit and rail while prioritizing frontline communities. It will cut emissions, promote clean transportation, and create good-paying green jobs. It will also make commuting easier for New Yorkers by investing in Amtrak’s bridges and tunnels like the proposed Gateway Tunnel. This progress reiterates that our climate recovery goes hand in hand with our economic recovery.”
“For over 30 years, the people of Oregon have called Chairman DeFazio an environmental champion, and his leadership to pass new comprehensive transportation reform shows you why,” said Doug Moore, Executive Director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. “If we are going to tackle climate change, we need to fundamentally change how we move around our state and country. The INVEST in American Act accelerates our transition to clean transportation options, electric vehicles, and will improve air quality for millions of people across Oregon and the country. This is the meaningful progress we need to see from Congress and we are thankful to have Chairman DeFazio fighting every day for our future and the future for our kids.”
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