Last week, Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee rejected amendments introduced by Republicans intended to assist rural communities in the continued response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“We all agree that our focus needs to be on ending the pandemic, supporting access to vaccines, and assisting the economic recovery, but this legislation has left out millions of rural Americans and their needs in the recovery,” Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) said in the committee hearing last week.
Congressman Guest’s full statement during the hearing can be found in a press release from last week.
Below, you will find examples of amendments provided in a T&I Committee Minority press release that the T&I Committee’s Majority voted against:
- An amendment to ensure that $5 billion of the funding be used to assist vaccine distribution in rural and small states (offered by Rep. Michael Guest of Mississippi)
- An amendment to ensure funding for small and rural area airports (offered by Rep. Michael Guest of Mississippi)
- An amendment to help ensure that rural communities aren’t left behind by this relief package, redirecting the $10 billion in transit funding over the Biden administration’s transit request to state departments of transportation for road and bridge programs, which received no assistance in this package (offered by Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio)
- An amendment to refocus 10 percent of all funding provided in this package to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) to help with vaccination distribution efforts – one of the most important steps in defeating the pandemic and eliminating the need for further relief (offered by Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida)
- An amendment to ensure that no new funding provided in this measure goes out before the funds in Congress’ previous COVID relief bills have been obligated (offered by Rep. Brian Babin of Texas)
- An amendment simply to ensure that Chinese government-owned entities can’t profit from a single dollar in this measure (offered by Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas)
- An amendment to reprogram $8 billion in funding to assist struggling motorcoach businesses and workers (offered by Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California)
- An amendment to provide assistance for small and inland ports, many of which are critical to serving America’s farmers (offered by Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois)
- An amendment requiring FEMA to provide an accounting of its expenditures of assistance funding, in order to help Congress better understand how its funds are being utilized to combat the pandemic (offered by Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois on behalf of Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas)
- An amendment to provide the first actual funding to the Maritime Transportation System Emergency Relief Program – established with strong bipartisan support last Congress, but still unfunded (offered by Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana)
- An amendment to direct $750 million of the Economic Development Administration funding to assisting high-speed broadband projects in rural communities (offered by Rep. Dan Webster of Florida)
- Amendments to assist workers impacted by the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline were either defeated, ruled out of order, or withdrawn (offered by Reps. Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Pete Stauber on Minnesota, Troy Nehls of Texas, and Rick Crawford of Arkansas)
Release from Congressman Michael Guest.