President Biden Signs Four of Congressman Cohen’s Bills into Law as Parts of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, applauded the inclusion of several bills that he authored or co-authored in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law by President Biden on Monday.
Congressman Cohen made the following statement:
“I am pleased that several bills I authored to make our roads safer and more accessible made their way into the most significant physical infrastructure bill in a generation.
“This is landmark legislation and I am proud to have helped make it possible.”
Congressman Cohen’s key provisions incorporated into the bipartisan infrastructure legislation include:
- The Multiple Substance Impaired Driving Act – The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes this legislation, which aims to address an under-reported cause of many serious and fatal vehicle accidents by increasing investment in technologies for detecting multiple-substance impairment. Specifically, the measure would increase investment in technologies for detecting multiple-substance impairment and improve reporting on the phenomenon. The bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona).
- The Interstate Rail Compacts Advancement Act – The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes a modified version of the Interstate Rail Compacts Advancement Act, which aims to promote regional coordination and sustain a vision of passenger rail service across America. Specifically, it establishes a competitive grant program to provide financial assistance to entities implementing interstate rail compacts.
- The Complete Streets Act – The bipartisan infrastructure bill aligns with the Complete Streets Act, which Congressman Cohen introduced with Representatives Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona) and Adriano Espaillat (D-New York), by requiring that states and metropolitan planning organizations set aside 2.5 percent of their highway planning funding for designing “complete streets” projects and policies that will improve safety and accessibility for all users of the road. A “complete street” is one designed to provide safe and accessible transportation options for multiple modes of travel, as well as for people of all ages and abilities. A companion bill was introduced by Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts).
- The Stop Underrides Act – The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes certain provisions from the Stop Underrides Act, which Congressman Cohen introduced with Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-California) and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida). The provisions will require a rule on strengthened rear underride guards to be made within a year of enactment, require a study on the impact of side underride guards, and establish the Advisory Committee on Underride Protection. In 2014, Memphians Randy and Laurie Higginbotham, lost their 33-year old son Michael when his car crashed into a semi-truck trailer and ended up under it.
- States Afforded Funding Extensions To Oppose Driving Recklessly In Vehicular Engagements (SAFE TO DRIVE) Act – The bipartisan infrastructure bill also included the SAFE to Drive Act, which was introduced by Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), and co-led by Congressman Cohen. The SAFE to Drive Act will help ensure more states are able to access critical funding to enforce distracted driving laws and educate drivers in order to improve road safety.
All of the measures were also fully or partly included in the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act, an ambitious five-year surface transportation bill containing several of his legislative priorities that passed in the House of Representatives on July 1, 2021.