Few issues are more important to California than its transportation and infrastructure. I requested assignment to the congressional committee responsible for transportation specifically so that I could stress the needs of the Central Valley here in Washington. California’s roadways are some of the most utilized and significant in the country, providing for the movement of goods and services across the largest state economy in the nation. Without additional resources, the continued erosion of our infrastructure will soon cripple economic activity in the region and restrict the availability of goods to the Central Valley.
I currently chair the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, and in this capacity I am working to help expand access to transportation platforms. Specifically, I have been working with ACE train to help them expand service in the Valley and provide greater services to commuters in the 10th District.
I am a strong critic of High Speed Rail. As chairman of the Rail subcommittee I have led the congressional effort to ensure no more federal dollars are allocated to High Speed Rail in California until they fulfill the promise that was made to voters with Prop 1A. The cost of the project has more than tripled and has consistently been bogged down with delays, missed deadlines and short cuts. If we are going to do this, it must be done right, and until I see a viable business plan that leads to a network that stays off agricultural land, is within budget and leads to a train operating without a continuing subsidy, I will oppose new money for the project.
Finally, I am a strong advocate for the Valley during negotiations on reauthorizing our nation’s transportation programs through a bill known as MAP-21. Through my efforts we were able to bring a greater share of California’s tax dollars back to the state for infrastructure projects and place more control in to the hands of local planners, allowing for faster project delivery with fewer hurdles.
I will work with communities, cities, and counties in my district and throughout California, as well as nationally from my seat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to ensure the proper resources are devoted to our region. As our population grows, easy, safe and reliable transportation becomes more necessary.