Illinois is home to the world's largest airport (O'Hare), a vital waterway network including Lake Michigan, a massive interstate highway convergence and the heart of the American railroad network. Northeastern Illinois is one of the world’s transportation hubs through which billions of dollars and tons of products and people pass through daily en route to every corner of the country and beyond.
This gives our region a competitive advantage that requires local, state and federal investment to protect. The 14th District in particular has many regional transportation strengths, from small airports to major interstate highways and a commerce-friendly series of waterways that literally help churn the flow of economic activity from Illinois down through the Mississippi River basin. However, there is still work to do. With more people moving to the Collar counties of Chicago, our roads cannot handle the volume. I am working closely with communities on solutions to address severe bottlenecks that are negatively impacting commerce, emergency service responses, and tripling commuting times.
As a former member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I helped lead efforts to strengthen our existing transportation resources and develop a long-term strategy to meet the needs of the future. Investing in our national infrastructure in an investment in our national future, giving future generations the competitive advantage we inherited.
Last Congress, working alongside Senator Mark Kirk, we were able to join local transportation advocates to extend the Surface Transportation Act, protecting thousands of jobs and continuing to advance sound transportation policy and reforms. Through the Lincoln Legacy Act, we tackled issues stifling investment, producing a long-term solution to break down the barriers suffocating private investment in our nation’s infrastructure by successfully inserting language into the Surface Transportation reauthorization. By expanding states’ ability to collect tolls, we have given states more opportunity to attract private capital and investment in public infrastructure.
I also championed a bipartisan letter to restore transit parity between commuters driving and using mass transit to get to work. There are seven Metra lines running through the 14th Congressional District, and we have many commuters. Tax policy should not discourage people from using public transportation when the alterative – driving – would create more traffic and wasted time. I will continue to push for transit parity and other suburban transportation needs because our transportation infrastructure connects us to our families, our communities and our commerce; it connects parents and children with jobs and school and it connects businesses and industries with suppliers and customers.
While unemployment continues to plague our economy, I was also able to get H.R. 3666, the Veterans Accelerated License Obtainment and Recertification (VALOR) Act of 2011, included in the transportation bill (MAP-21) passed last year. Drawing support from both sides of the aisle, the VALOR Act accelerated the timeframe for veterans returning from combat with truck driving experience to obtain a commercial driver’s license certification. I will continue work with members of both parties in Congress to help reduce congestion, increase options for commuters and expand employment opportunities through smarter government programs and infrastructure projects for men and women with the passion, training and skills to make Illinois' transportation network the envy of the Midwest and supplier of the world.
More on Transportation
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) is an original sponsor of H.R. 5199, a bill which would expand the use of local bank qualified bonds and allow local municipal governments and school districts to increase their use from $10 million to $30 million a year.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today opposed the passage of H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, which fails to address the underlying funding problems with the Highway Trust Fund and falls short of a long-term solution for Illinois’ infrastructure.
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today met with air traffic control instructors, students, recent graduates and career retirees at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois to hear from them about the challenges they face following the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new and unexpected hiring procedures. The changes have jeopardized the careers of aspiring air traffic controllers and raised concerns of safety and transparency.
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) has led members of the Illinois delegation in a bipartisan effort to press U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx for answers regarding the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new and obscure hiring procedures which have jeopardized the careers of aspiring air traffic controllers and raised concerns of safety and transparency. The letter is available here.