Senator Murray questioned Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on status of federal investments to support Lynnwood Link, Tacoma Link projects during Senate hearing
Senator Murray also pressed Secretary Chao on addressing sexual assault and harassment on airplanes, future of popular TIGER program
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, questioned Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao about vital transportation and infrastructure priorities in Washington state and nationwide during a hearing on the Trump Administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Citing a recentgrant to Community Transit in Snohomish County awarded through the Federal Transit Authority’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program, Senator Murray pressed Secretary Chao to move forward with additional CIG awards with federal investments already provided by Congress to help support other Washington state public transportation projects, including the Lynnwood Link extension and the expansion of the Tacoma Link, and urged the Department to execute these grants as directed by Congress. During the hearing Senator Murray also noted her successful efforts to include language in the bipartisan spending bill, passed in March 2018, to require the Department to establish new federal rules to address the growing problem of sexual assault and harassment on airplanes, and asked Secretary Chao to commit to meeting the one-year deadline and creating the National In-Flight Sexual Assault Task Force to help establish these rules. Additionally, Senator Murray questioned Secretary Chao about the Department’s commitment to following Congressional direction on the successful, cost-effective TIGER program, for which Congress provided a historic $1.5 billion in the recent spending bill. While Secretary Chao indicated during today’s hearing that she would work with Senator Murray on these priorities, Senator Murray plans to follow up in short order to ensure the Department of Transportation is committed to making progress.
A strong advocate of smart transportation and infrastructure investments, Senator Murray has long fought to strengthen investments in the CIG program, and was instrumental in creating the TIGER program in 2009. Senator Murray’s questions to Secretary Chao follow several efforts to raise the importance of funding transportation projects in Washington state with the Trump Administration, including her efforts last July to confirm the Department’s commitment to the Lynnwood Link extension, and her recent vote to pass a bipartisan spending deal that rejected President Trump’s proposed cuts to critical grant programs like CIG and TIGER.