U.S. Congressman Rob Woodall was the featured guest speaker at the Council’s Gwinnett Advisory Committee meeting on May 27th. Among other issues, Congressman Woodall discussed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which passed the House and the Senate last week and is headed to the President’s desk.
Congressman Woodall also noted that the transportation bill, referred to as the GROW AMERICA Act, will be one of the next big issues that the U.S. Congress will tackle. The bill, which was submitted to Congress by U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx, proposes a $302 billion investment in surface transportation projects over the next four years. It should be noted that this is the largest transportation funding bill since the SAFETEA-LU was signed into law in 2005.
Included in it would be a restructuring of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which is nearing insolvency later this year. Rather than the HTF receiving an annual bailout from Congress, it would provide dedicated funding for the program across the bill’s four year lifespan. The bill would rename the HTF to the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) and add Rail and Multimodal accounts to the already existent Highway and Mass Transit accounts. These new accounts would not receive any Motor Fuel Taxes that finance the current accounts, rather General Fund transfers and a proposed corporate tax reform would subsidize them. Overall, the GROW AMERICA Act would invest $199 billion in the national highway system, $72 billion in transit, $10 billion in multi-modal freight programs, and $19 billion in intercity rail.
He emphasized the importance of constituents outside of the transportation and development arena to voice their opinions on the GROW AMERICA Act. This will bring diverse opinions to the forefront of the debate and show the support that exists from outside the expected constituency.
The Congressman also highlighted the importance of the Council for Quality Growth, and the work that it does throughout the Metro Region:
“Limited, but effective government and local control aren’t just talking points when you come from a community like ours,” said Woodall. “They’re key elements to our success. The Council for Quality Growth understands this, and does a fantastic job of bringing together all levels of government, private sector development, and citizens in order to move the entire region forward. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to visit with such dedicated leaders within the community.”
Congressman Woodall and Randy Dellinger, District Manager, Jackson EMC
Special thanks to Randy Dellinger, District Manager with Jackson EMC for sponsoring the meeting.