Sixth District Congressional Candidate Sean Casten and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos led a discussion on investing in Illinois and the 6th District's infrastructure earlier today. Joined by local elected officials, organized labor, business owners, and former transportation agency leaders, both echoed the need for further federal investment in Illinois with a bipartisan push for creating jobs:
"President Trump promised a $1 trillion infrastructure package to grow our economy and create more good paying jobs, but Washington Republicans failed to deliver," said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. "Hardworking families of the 6th District need a leader like Sean Casten who will fight hard and get real results for Illinois. If we're serious about raising wages, creating new economic development opportunities and building a 21st century infrastructure, we need Sean's voice in Congress."
"The more we invest in our transportation infrastructure in the Sixth District, the more jobs we will create here at home, as well as access to work in nearby Chicago," said Casten. "Our district is home to four Metra rail lines with twenty-two stations, sixty-two Pace bus routes, and three major highways and tollways. That infrastructure contributes to our economic growth and global competitiveness, job creation, and environmental sustainability. We need to build on that. Donald Trump has called for investing in our infrastructure, but so far he's done nothing -- and Peter Roskam has failed to hold him to his commitments."
In 2018, Illinois' infrastructure received a C- rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Today's discussion focused on Congress' need to direct federal investment to areas with demonstrated need, strengthen programs that support public transportation, and maintain and expand policies that support America's manufacturers and workers, including Buy American, Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements, and the use of project labor agreements.
The event was timely in lieu of widespread Metra delays and overcrowding on Monday. Casten called for increased federal commitment to public transit, especially Metra's capital project backlog.
Peter Roskam previously voted to cut dedicated funding for mass transit, eliminating a bipartisan deal arranged under President Ronald Reagan to allocate motor fuel tax funds to public transportation. The plan was skewered by local and state transportation agencies as "perilous" to public transit.