Updated: Last Best Chance for Transit in Stimulus

Update: 7:18pm – Apparently this will go to a floor vote in the house tomorrow. 1000 Friends has published a local alert:

Friends and Allies,

Please take action now to help secure increased funding for public transit.

We’ve just been informed that Congressmen Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) have introduced an amendment to the American Economic Recovery and Investment Act that will go to the floor for a vote tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. It would add $3 billion in additional funding for public transit above and beyond the $9.5 billion in the original economic recovery bill. This is our best chance to influence the outcome of the legislation.

Congress will consider and VOTE on this amendment in the next 18 hours. Please encourage your Representative to vote YES on this important amendment. (Click here for background information.)

Please act now! Call tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. Urge them to support the Nadler/DeFazio amendment, and don’t forget to thank Rep. DeFazio, particularly if you live in his district!

First District — Congressman David Wu — (503) 326-2901
Second District — Congressman Greg Walden — (541) 389-4408
Third District — Congressman Earl Blumenauer — (503) 231-2300
Fourth District — Congressman Peter DeFazio — (541) 465-6732
Fifth District — Congressman Kurt Schrader — (503) 588-9100

Sincerely,

The Team at 1000 Friends of Oregon

P.S. Oregon could receive up to $30 million or more for Tri-Met, Cherriots, Lane Transit District and others if this amendment passes. Please call today!

Republished from Streetsblog:

We’re at a critical moment for green transportation in the stimulus package. The key piece on the table now is Jerrold Nadler’s amendment to boost transit investment by $3 billion. A decision could be reached as soon as today, so now is the time to make those phone calls. The people to reach are the House leadership and the Appropriations Committee, who must be persuaded to allow more transit investment into the bill.

As things stand, only one percent of the total stimulus is devoted to transit, while highway spending and all the traffic-generating boondoggles that come with it stand to receive more than three times that amount. If you want to see a stronger recovery bill that does more to curb oil dependence, reduce pollution, and enhance the livability of America’s cities, here are the key numbers to call. Tell these representatives that the Nadler amendment must be allowed to reach the floor for a vote (check after the jump for talking points). If it can reach the floor, we’re told, the amendment has a very good chance to pass. Drop us a line in the comments about how things go.

House Leadership
Nancy Pelosi (202) 225-4965
Steny Hoyer (202) 225-4131
James Clyburn (202) 225-3315
Chris Van Hollen (202) 225-5341

Appropriations Committee
David Obey, WI (202) 225-3365
John Olver, MA (202) 225-5335
James Moran, VA (202) 225-4376
Lucille Roybal-Allard, CA (202) 225-1766
Barbara Lee, CA (202) 225-2661

Talking points courtesy of the National Association of City Transportation Officials:

* Transit is the future of our nation’s metropolitan regions which represent 80% of the US population. Public transit ridership has been surging over the last year, but instead of capitalizing on the public demand for more and better transit, cities are being forced to curtail service and cut jobs.
* These modest adjustments will result in far-reaching impact on mobility, pollution reduction, and economic stimulation in metropolitan regions.
* Discuss the transit need in your city and the fact that federal resources for transit can absolutely be spent within the timeframes set out by the bill. House leadership in particular needs to hear the case for transit. The White House is pushing them to make no changes. The leadership needs to hear from the cities about why these amendments are critical.

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