ALERT FOR BIKES: Economic Stimulus Bill
Thread started by batgirlkarla
at 02.13.09 - 7:06 pm
Call Rep. Henry Waxman TODAY!!
Los Angeles Area bicyclists - we need your help immediately to ensure that there will be funding for bicycling in the final bill.
It's expected that there will be a final Economic Recovery bill completed today on Wednesday, February 11.
Please take five minutes RIGHT NOW to call Rep. Henry Waxman who is one of the nine Congressional members making the final decisions on the bill.
Contact Information (call both the DC and District offices, starting with DC):
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA, 30th District): (202) 225-3976 and (323) 651-1040
When you make the calls (a total of two calls), tell the staff person who answers the phone the following message:
My name is ______ and I live in (NAME OF CITY) California. I have a message for Representative Waxman about the economic recovery bill.
Please ask the Representative to support explicit funding for the Transportation Enhancements program in the final economic recovery bill.
The person answering the phone may ask for your contact information. It is unlikely he or she will ask you any questions, but if so, please use the following
The Transportation Enhancements program will allow bicycle and pedestrian projects to be funded as part of the economic recovery - which will create construction jobs, use construction materials, get local businesses working, and help Main Street economies.
Bicycle and pedestrian improvements give families cheaper transportation options to access their workplaces, schools, and public transit.
Shifting people out of their cars and onto their feet and bikes helps with reducing air pollution. It's also a healthier option for people.
Both the House and Senate have adopted their own versions of the Economic Recovery bill. The House passed its version, which totaled $819 billion, on January 28, 2009.
The Senate has been debating its version for the past week, and in the end, a group of Senators negotiated a series of cuts to funding levels throughout the bill in order to get enough votes to pass the legislation. Today, the Senate passed its version of the bill, totaling $829 billion-although with very different provisions than the House bill in many areas. Senator DeMint's amendment to prohibit any funding in the bill for bike/ped projects was not offered, and thus is not included; however, without an explicit inclusion of Transportation Enhancements, school modernization grants, and Healthy Communities in the bill, it's unlikely that many bike/ped/Safe Routes to School projects will be funded.
The House and Senate are now in conference committee where only nine conference members are discussing differences between the two bills and negotiating a final bill that will be voted on by the House and the Senate, and then presented to President Obama for his signature. Congress is seeking to have the bill finalized this week. It's important that you make your calls to Rep. Waxman today.
Both the House and Senate bills include billions for transportation infrastructure, but only the House bill explicitly includes funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects through the Transportation Enhancements program. The House bill includes approximately $1.35 billion for Transportation Enhancements of which 50-60% is traditionally spent on bicycle and pedestrian projects. The Senate bill does not explicitly include Transportation Enhancements, so it is unclear whether this funding will be in the final bill. We want to ensure that Transportation Enhancements is explicitly included in the final bill to help stimulate the economy, create green jobs, and build sustainable transportation options for families. This would mean about $125 million in funding for Transportation Enhancements for California.
Please forward this alert:
Please make these calls ASAP, and forward this alert to your friends. Please get everyone you know in the 30th Congressional District to contact Rep. Waxman on February 11, because as a constituent, you have special power.
Thanks for your help!