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Rep. Adams Votes to Pass Democrats’ Moving Forward Act, H.R. 2

Jul 1, 2020
Press Release
Sweeping Bill Invests More Than $1.5 Trillion to Create Jobs Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure, includes Adams’ Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) voted to pass H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, House Democrats’ sweeping legislation to invest more than $1.5 trillion in modern, sustainable infrastructure while creating millions of good-paying jobs, combatting the climate crisis, building new affordable housing, and addressing disparities in communities across North Carolina and throughout the country.

“I made a promise to my constituents to raise wages by rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure,” said Congresswoman Adams. “Today, I proudly joined my colleagues to pass the Moving Forward Act to give Charlotte and Mecklenburg County families and businesses the urgently-needed infrastructure investments they deserve. As our nation continues to confront the COVID-19 crisis, this legislation will create millions of good-paying jobs and equip our nation with the 21st century infrastructure critical to growing our economy and helping our communities prosper for decades to come. The bill makes a historic investment in affordable housing at a critical time for Americans, because we know that housing is infrastructure.

“Additionally, H.R. 2 includes a bill I introduced last year, the Saving Transit Art Resources (STAR) Act,” continued Adams. “As a practicing artist and art professor for 40 years, I know the value that public art can add to communities. Artists aid in transit design, improve safety and security, increase ridership, reduce vandalism, and inspire and enrich the community. In my district, the Charlotte Area Transit System’s ability to integrate art into stations and park and ride lots is in jeopardy. This bill would restore the ability of transit authorities to incorporate art in public transit, creating more vibrant and welcoming mass transit options.”

“Finally, this legislation includes my amendments to make sure our HBCUs and MSIs receive their fair share of federal researchand infrastructure dollars,” Adams concluded.

A fact sheet on the Moving Forward Act is available here.

Among the many far-reaching provisions of the Moving Forward Act:

  • Invests over $100 billion into our nation's affordable housing infrastructure to create or preserve 1.8 million affordable homes. These investments will help reduce housing inequality, create jobs and stimulate the broader economy, increase community and household resiliency in the face of natural disasters, improve hazardous living conditions and increase the environmental sustainability of our housing stock. The bill includes language from the Housing is Infrastructure Act, a bill cosponsored by Rep. Adams.
  • The INVEST in America Act, a nearly $500 billion investment to rebuild and reimagine the nation’s transportation infrastructure by fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, improving safety, reducing gridlock and putting the U.S. on a path toward zero emissions from the transportation sector by cutting carbon pollution, investing in public transit and the national rail network, building out fueling infrastructure for low- and zero-emission vehicles and deploying technology and innovative materials. The INVEST in America Act is fueled by American workers and ingenuity thanks to strong Buy America provisions and labor protections. Under H.R. 2, North Carolina would receive $8,539,835,370 in highway and transit funding alone.
  • Invests in schools with the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act, which funds $130 billion in school infrastructure targeted at high-poverty schools with facilities that endanger the health and safety of students and educators. This investment will help students get back to school and create more than 2 million jobs to help workers get back to work. 
  • Addresses structural challenges and upgrades child care facilities by leveraging a 5-year, $10 billion federal investment to generate additional state and private investments in making sure that child care settings are safe, appropriate and able to comply with current and future public health directives.
  • Protects access to safe drinking water by investing over $25 billion in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and other programs to ensure all communities have clean drinking water and to help remove dangerous contaminants like PFAS from local water systems. 
  • Modernizes our energy infrastructure for a clean energy future by investing more than $70 billion to transform our electric grid to accommodate more renewable energy, expand renewable energy, strengthen existing infrastructure, help develop an electric vehicle charging network and support energy efficiency, weatherization and Smart Communities infrastructure.
  • Delivers affordable high-speed broadband Internet access to all parts of the country by investing $100 billion to promote competition for broadband internet infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities, prioritizing those with persistent poverty. Gets children connected to remote learning, closes broadband adoption and digital skills gaps and enhances payment support for low-income households and the recently unemployed. 
  • Modernizes the nation’s health care infrastructure by investing $30 billion to upgrade hospitals to increase capacity and strengthen care, help community health centers respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies, improve clinical laboratory infrastructure, support the Indian Health Service‘s infrastructure and increase capacity for community-based care. 
  • Modernizes and strengthens the United States Postal Service by investing $25 billion to modernize postal infrastructure and operations, including a zero emissions postal vehicle fleet, processing equipment and other goods. 
  • Promotes new renewable energy infrastructure by incentivizing the development of wind and solar on public lands and building a workforce for offshore wind. 
  • Promotes investments in our communities by spurring private investment through the tax code, through a revitalized Build America Bonds program, expansions of Private Activity Bonds and significant enhancements to the New Markets Tax Credit and the Rehabilitation Tax Credit.

Fact Sheet: Adams’ Saving Transit Art Resources (STAR) Act 

The Saving Transit Art Resources Act would reinstate a federal flexibility that allows local transit authorities to incorporate art into federally- funded transit projects.

For 30 years in cities and towns—small and large—across America, transit agencies have employed artists to enhance their transit projects. These costs typically comprised 1-2 percent of a project’s budget and could be used to support the employment of an artist on a design team if artistic elements were integrated into the design or facility.

However, in 2015, Congress passed legislation that included a provision prohibiting the use of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds for the incorporation of art into transit projects. In addition, once FTA funds are used for any part of a transportation project, the local funds face the same federal restrictions and probations, severely limiting the ability of local funding to go towards incorporating art into transit projects.

Fact Sheet: Adams’ Amendment 215

Amendment 215 to H.R. 2 would increase the minimum number of HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) that receive University Transportation Center (UTC) research grants from two to four

H.R. 2 authorizes $96 million annually for consortiums of schools to conduct state-of-the-art transportation research and train our next generation of transportation professionals. This amendment would increase equity in educational grant funding.

Among the 37 consortiums of schools, only seven are anchored by HBCUs or MSIs: North Carolina A&T, Morgan State University, San Jose State University, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, University of Texas- Arlington, Florida Atlantic University, and Florida International University.

Fact Sheet: Adams’ Amendment 232

Amendment 232 concerns the infrastructure needs of HBCUs. 

In 2018, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report calling on the Secretary of Education to examine the potential benefits of modifying loans for current participants of the HBCU Capital Financing Program. 

This program helps HBCUs upgrade old infrastructure such as residence halls and academic buildings, many of which have been in use for decades. Modifying existing loans would help HBCUs to complete their repayment of existing loans while not costing the federal government a dollar. However, the Secretary of Education has refused to substantively examine the issue. 

This amendment would require the Education Department to complete that analysis and transmit results to the House Education & Labor Committee and the Senate HELP Committee.

Congresswoman Alma Adams represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte) and serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. Additionally, she serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. In 2015, she co-founded the first bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus, which she continues to chair.