Last week, the Gwinnett Chamber was joined by two members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. U.S. Representatives Carolyn Bourdeaux and Hank Johnson spoke on recent legislative developments on infrastructure in Congress. Hosted at Eagle Rock Distributing Company in Norcross and sponsored by Gateway 85, the luncheon was attended by chamber board members, public policy committee members, and county and state leaders in transportation and infrastructure, including Rudy Bowen, Congressional District 7 Board member and Chairman of the State Transportation Board and Robert Brown, Congressional District 4 Board Member.
As the U.S. Senate recently passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill on a 69-30 vote, Congresswoman Bourdeaux shared optimism in its chances to make it quickly through the House as the FAST Act expires at the end of September. However, Congressman Johnson noted that the $1 trillion infrastructure bill cannot pass without the Senate first taking up and passing the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. Congressman Johnson believes both bills can pass through both chambers by October.
Congresswoman Bourdeaux said the number one issue she hears from her constituents is congestion. This bill offers an 81% increase in surface transportation funding, a 52% increase in highway roads and safety, a 64% increase in transit, and a 635% increase in intercity rail like Amtrak.
Rep. Bourdeaux also highlighted the work she put into the INVEST Act, which passed earlier this year. Although projects like the Gwinnett Place Transit Center and the Lawrenceville Area Park and Ride were left off the bipartisan infrastructure bill, additional funding was included to allow for those kinds of projects. Congressman Johnson highlighted a $5 million Bus Rapid Transit project on HWY 78 that provides service between downtown Snellville and the Indian Creek MARTA station.
Having a robust infrastructure has always been a key component to Georgia and Gwinnett’s economic success. The Gwinnett Chamber strongly supports a strong infrastructure system that connects people to jobs and services, businesses to talent, and communities to each other. Improving our interstate congestion, highway safety, and freight bottlenecks are vital to attracting businesses to Georgia. We are grateful to have three representatives from Georgia sitting on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to advocate for Georgia’s vital infrastructure needs.
Congresswoman Bourdeaux represents Georgia’s 7th District, which covers major parts of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties. Congressman Hank Johnson represents Georgia’s 4th District, which covers the south parts of Gwinnett, parts of Dekalb and Newton, and all of Rockdale.