Issue Position: Transportation

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2015
Issues: Transportation

Drivers in Charlotte have the 28th most stressful commute in the nation, according to studies by the Texas Transportation Institute.

Years of explosive growth and decades of neglect by Raleigh created the perfect storm. Aging infrastructure and declining gas tax revenues are making it worse.

Developing an infrastructure that works is crucial for job growth, our economy, and our sanity. Every day we use transportation to take our children to school, get to work, or run to the grocery store. Businesses rely on our highways, railroads, and airports to make goods available for consumers.

Because fixing our crumbling infrastructure is a priority, I've partnered with Congressman John Delaney (D-MD) to introduce the Partnership to Build America Act (H.R. 2084), which would speed up infrastructure projects by leveraging private dollars in the bond market.

Our legislation is quite different from North Carolina's proposal to build toll lanes on I-77 and allow a private business to manage those lanes for profit. Under our plan, the construction, management, and ownership of infrastructure would remain the responsibility of the appropriate local government entity, but significantly increased funding would be available for those projects because private companies would have incentives to invest in more transportation bonds.

Congress recently took action to ensure current projects continue to receive full funding despite Washington politics. The Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (H.R. 5021), which I supported, passed both the House and Senate and was signed into law, providing necessary funding for the Highway Trust Fund and 20,000 related jobs here in North Carolina.

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is key to our region's economy and the creation of new jobs. Current efforts with the new airport intermodal facility are critical for economic expansion in our community and must take priority with ancillary road projects. While working closely with the City of Charlotte and airport leaders, I have repeatedly contacted the FAA about cutting red tape so Charlotte-Douglas can replace its aging and outdated control tower. This year I've also pushed the FAA to make a decision regarding who is responsible for governing the airport, seeking to resolve this distracting controversy that is bad for business and job growth.

Inefficient management and inadequate transportation funding is not only frustrating, but harmful to job growth and the economy. As your Congressman, I will continue to support common-sense legislation to improve our crumbling infrastructure and grow our economy, including support of the airport, which warrants funding from Congress commensurate with these important needs.