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.
In the 112th 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) released a statement today following the announcement that Speaker Paul Ryan (WI) will not be seeking reelection this year:
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) supported House passage today of H.R. 1625, the omnibus appropriations legislation to fund the government. The House passed all 12 spending bills last year.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representatives Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD-02) introduced legislation to restore the tax exemption for advance refunding bonds that was repealed in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This financing tool allows states and local governments to take advantage of favorable interest rates to build essential infrastructure projects.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Co-Chairman of the Municipal Finance Caucus, welcomed the inclusion of an expansion of private activity bonds in the President’s infrastructure proposal released today. Rep. Hultgren has introduced legislation, the Modernizing American Manufacturing Bonds Act (MAMBA) of 2017, H.R. 1115, to expand the use of the key financing tools for manufacturers.
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) released a statement following the State of the Union Address: