WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) issued the following statement today after voting against the House Republican Majority’s Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill (H.R. 4745) for fiscal 2015. Click here to watch Himes’s floor speech today regarding the need to make meaningful investments in the nation's highway and transit infrastructure, and the bill’s failure to do so.

“This bill is both bad policy and a danger to the safety and economic health of my constituents and to all Americans. It fails on every level to meet our nation’s urgent need to build a 21st century infrastructure that puts people to work and helps our businesses compete worldwide. Given the problems plaguing Metro-North and other transit systems across our country, it is appalling that the House would cut investments that are so critical to the lifeblood of our economy.”

“The people of Connecticut face the highest costs of living in the nation, and the situation is only exacerbated by our deteriorating transit system and a severe shortage of affordable housing. I am deeply concerned that this legislation slashes resources for affordable housing programs that are vital to families in Fairfield County.  Cutting the initiatives that help strengthen our communities and build our infrastructure is exactly the wrong approach to creating jobs and growing our economy.”

Himes, a former vice president of Enterprise Foundation, a nonprofit community affordable housing organization, sought to offer a bipartisan amendment to allow HUD to support energy efficient upgrades in HUD-assisted housing, including housing for seniors and people with disabilities. Himes' proposal, which unfortunately was not considered, is budget-neutral and has the potential to reduce utility costs for HUD and save taxpayer money.

Click here to watch Himes discuss the amendment on the House floor.

The bill's transportation portion calls for deep cuts to rail and transit initiatives, proposing a $200 million cut for Amtrak’s capital grants and a $252 million reduction to the Federal Transit Administration’s capital investment program. It also would slash TIGER grant funding from $600 million in fiscal 2014 to $100 million in fiscal 2015.