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Congressman Garamendi and Senator Duckworth Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill Unlocking Federal Financing for Airports

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA03) and Brian Babin, D.D.S. (R-TX36) reintroduced the “Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act for Airports” in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and John Cornyn (R-TX) sponsored companion legislation in the Senate.

The bicameral, bipartisan bill would make airport projects eligible for low-interest federal loans and loan guarantees under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program. Approximately $2 billion of federal financing is available, as of the end of fiscal year 2020.

“The country that invented air travel should not have to look to other countries’ airports with envy. Congress must invest in modernizing our airports to better meet the traveling public’s needs and address public health concerns like coronavirus,” said Congressman Garamendi (D-CA). “This legislation would unlock some $2 billion in low-interest federal financing for airport modernization projects across California and the nation, including climate resilience projects. Now more than ever, Americans deserve airports that are as efficient, safe, and clean as possible.”

“Modernizing our nation’s aging airport infrastructure will help create good-paying jobs and spur economic development, while improving safety and reliability,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to be working across the aisle with Senator Cornyn, as well as Congressman Garamendi and Congressman Brian Babin in the House, to make sure major airport improvement projects, like O’Hare Modernization, maximize taxpayers’ Return on Investment by reducing costs and improving project deliverability.”

“In 2020, multiple Texas airports were among the busiest in the world,” said Cornyn. “By making the TIFIA program’s more than $70 billion in untapped lending capacity available to public airport projects, we can modernize our infrastructure to meet Texans’ needs, improve national security, and ensure funding already on the books is being used.”

“Cutting bureaucratic red tape and investing in our nation’s infrastructure is critical to ensuring a strong and resilient economy for years to come,” said Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36). “I’m proud to join Rep. Garamendi in reintroducing this bill that will inevitably expedite airport infrastructure projects in Texas, and around the country, and will enhance the travel experience for all Americans.”

The bill for this Congress would require that all TIFIA-funded airport projects adhere to existing “Buy American” requirements under the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2021 report card gave our nation’s airports and related civilian aviation infrastructure a “D+” grade, requiring more than $237 billion in total capital improvements over the next 10 years.

Congressman Garamendi is a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation.

House Original Cosponsors: Representatives Brian Babin (R-TX36), Conor Lamb (D-PA17), Julia Brownley (D-CA26), Adam B. Schiff (D-CA28)

Endorsements: Airports Council International-North America, American Association of Airport Executives, Airlines for America (A4A)

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