This week, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., brought back his proposal to expand block grants to rural roads that are used to transport agricultural products.
At the start of last year, Hastings brought out the “Farm-to-Market Road Repair Act” which, according to his office, would “expand eligibility for the Surface Transportation Block Grant program to include rural roads that serve to transport agriculture products from farms or ranches to the marketplace.”
Hastings was able to roll his proposal into the “Moving Forward Act,” a $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal that cleared the Democratic-controlled U.S. House but did not pass the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate. With the Democrats getting ready to take over the Senate, Hastings hopes he will have more success this time around.
“America’s agricultural industry plays a pivotal role in the economy within my district and across our nation. Farmers and ranchers provide the communities they serve with fresh products daily, ensuring consumers have an adequate and healthy food supply. Unfortunately, many roads are deteriorating. As Congress debates how to move forward with a bold plan to address infrastructure, we need to ensure road-repair projects like these do not fall by the wayside as we seek to address other larger infrastructure projects,” Hastings said on Monday.
“That is why I proudly introduced legislation to ensure that these vital rural road projects are eligible for the same federal assistance available to other worthy projects. My legislation was included in H.R.2, the Moving Forward Act, when it passed in the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure it passes again,” he added.
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Monday. So far, there is no companion measure in the U.S. Senate and no cosponsors in the House.
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