Deadline Looms for Transportation Funding and American Construction Jobs
House Republicans Gamble with Economy and Community Safety Republicans in Congress are again standing in the way of passing critical legislation that will not only keep 2.9 million Americans on the job, but continues to rebuild confidence in the construction industry. The legislation this time focuses on a transportation funding bill that has received bi-partisan support and is intended for road and bridge construction and repair as well as mass transit needs in communities across the country.
MAP 21, a bill sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and James Inhofe (R-Okla) passed the Senate with bi-partisan support (74-22) and moved on to the House of Representatives on concurrence. House Republicans stripped the bill of close to $31.5 billion and would by some estimates reduce the American workforce by 500,000. The deadline is June 30 in order to keep a construction industry that already experiences an unemployment rate of 14.2%, which is almost double that of the national average, at work at improving the safety to our nation’s roads and bridges and providing quality transportation to benefit commerce.
Speaking today on the subject of the transportation funding at the Keim Street Bridge just outside of Pottstown, PA was Democratic congressional candidates, Manan Trivedi (PA 06) and George Badey (PA 07). This specific bridge, like many others in the Montgomery and Chester County areas, has been classified as “structurally deficient.” It is also important to note that Pennsylvania leads the nation in structurally deficient bridges with 26.5% being labeled as such in the commonwealth.
“Jim Gerlach and his House Republican colleagues would rather put millions of American jobs and the safety of everyone who travels our roads and bridges at risk before they consider working with anyone who has an idea other than theirs,” said Manan Trivedi. “As someone who wants to see our economy grow and as a father who wants to be sure their child is safe, I am not willing to gamble like Jim Gerlach with peoples’ lives and livelihoods just to win a Washington political game.”
“Pat Meehan’s failure to pass the bipartisan transportation bill is bad for safety, bad for jobs, and bad for our district. This could put over half a million people across the country out of work. It kills public transit, highway safety, funding for infrastructure, and puts the jobs and livelihoods of his own constituents in jeopardy. Pat Meehan recently asked, “how do you fund transportation in the long run?” Well, for starters, Pat, you can pass a transportation bill that would protect American workers and help lift our economy off its knees and back on its feet,” said George Badey.
In addition to the Keim Street Bridge, over 50 other bridges within a ten mile radius of Pottstown have also been classified as structurally deficient and if the June 30 deadline passes without an agreement, the backlog for repairing such bridges and roads will just continue to grow.
George Badey is the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 7th District of Pennsylvania. Born and raised in South Philadelphia, George attended public schools and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova Law School. A lawyer in private practice since 1982, George represents working people and families and has taken on Big Tobacco, pharmaceutical giants and the insurance industry in court. George has two sons, one a junior at Villanova and the other one a senior at Radnor High School.
Manan Trivedi was born and raised the son of factory workers in Berks County. Trivedi went on to serve our nation as a battalion surgeon with the Marines during the Iraq War and serve the local community as a primary care physician. Manan and his wife Surekha have a two-year old daughter named Sonia.