U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) spoke with Mike Emanuel on CNN this afternoon.

 Click the following image to watch Cicilline’s interview in full. Excerpts of Cicilline’s remarks are embedded below.

“The administration is approaching this in exactly the right way – really focusing on the underlying reasons for migration, understanding what’s happening in the region that’s contributing to that, and helping to make investments that will reduce those challenges in those countries, in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. They’ve also done a very good job of managing the surge at the border. The reports now are that children are in custody of the border patrol for 30 hours as opposed to 120 hours, so a significant reduction, which means they’re being placed properly in settings that are appropriate for children. But this is a complicated difficult challenge and we want an immigration system that is orderly, fair, and reflects our values. One that really reflects the values of our country. I think the administration is doing that. This is a difficult problem to solve, people are fleeing persecution, crime, tremendous hardships, looking for a better life in America. Dealing with the underlying causes of migration why people are coming here, I think is the right way to approach it, it’s exactly what the administration is doing.”

“The administration, from the very first day that the Biden Harris administration took office, understood that they inherited a broken immigration system, and that there were real challenges at the border. They began to work immediately to be sure that we were putting in place an orderly, fair, and humane system to deal with our immigration challenges. They’ve done that from the very first day, so I don’t think that visit changes that. The administration has demonstrated a deep understanding of the challenges and is approaching it in the right way, that really reflects who we are as a country and the values. The asylum and refugee system have been described as the crown jewel of American humanitarian position. I think that’s right and we have to protect that system and make sure that people can access it in a fair and humane way.”

“The infrastructure agreement is a good start. It’s a little over a trillion dollars of investment in roads, bridges, ports, and public transit. It’s a good proposal. The President has another proposal that relates to childcare, early childhood education, higher education, and paid family leave. Those are also critical parts of our recovery. The infrastructure plan that the President has announced is a good one. It will be transformative for our country. It will create millions of good paying jobs, and it will address the deficit in our infrastructure spending which hasn’t gone on for too long. Anyone who travels around to just about any part of our country knows that we need to make investments in rebuilding the infrastructure of our country to compete with people around the world who are literally racing by us. This is critical. There’s bipartisan support to rebuild the country and I look forward to the terms of the final agreement.”

“There’s tremendous support in the Democratic Party for investments in families and working families, in particular, to help people recover after COVID. The Republicans continue to oppose paid family leave, sick leave, affordable childcare, investments in junior and community colleges. Democrats are gonna keep fighting for that. We’re going to fight for investments in housing. We’re going to fight for investments in school construction. The President has reached a compromise on part of it. But Democrats are going to keep fighting for those things which we know are essential to working families and I think we can do both things.”

Cicilline Successfully Fights for Nearly $20 Million in New Funding for Rhode Island Road Improvements in House-Passed Infrastructure Bill

 INVEST in America Act creates millions of full-time, good-paying jobs modernizing, rebuilding roads, bridges, transit, rail, and water systems

Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) successfully fought for federal resources for four Rhode Island infrastructure projects in the INVEST in America Act, which the House passed today.

“I’m proud to have secured nearly $20 million in funding for high-priority infrastructure projects in Rhode Island,” Cicilline said. “America’s infrastructure has been stuck in the 1950s, but it doesn’t have to be. The INVEST in America Act will help create millions of good-paying jobs and support U.S. manufacturing. It will also put our country on a path toward zero emissions in the transportation sector by providing historic investments in transit, rail, electric vehicle charging, and alternative modes of transportation. With this bill, we are on the right track to creating economic opportunity for all in the 21st century and beyond.”

Included in the INVEST in America Act is $19.76 million in funding for four Member Designated Projects in Rhode Island. Cicilline secured the following investments through the House’s Community Project Funding initiative that allows Members to request money be appropriated for specific projects in their districts:

  • East Main Road – Safe Shared-Use Path
  • Location: East Main Rd. (Union to Sandy Point Ave.) in Portsmouth
  • Funding Amount: $240,000
  • Project Sponsor: Rhode Island Department of Transportation
  • Description: This project proposes to build an important half-mile section of a shared-use path along East Main Road (RT 138) between Union and Sandy Point Avenues in Portsmouth, RI. It is part of a longer path that is on the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) since it was ratified in 2017. The project promotes safety, healthy recreation, environmental protection, and the local economy.
  • Hope and Main Street Sidewalk Replacement
  • Location: Main Street in Warren and Bristol
  • Funding Amount: $8 million
  • Project Sponsor: Rhode Island Department of Transportation
  • Description: This project will enhance pedestrian access to historic and scenic downtown districts, the East Bay Bike Path, and multiple state and local parks along the route by repairing and replacing existing sidewalks. These improvements will retain the historic character of these neighborhoods while creating streets that are more accessible to pedestrians and all road users. The Bristol section of the limits, from Washington Street to the Warren Town Line, is a component of the recently designated Revolutionary Heritage Byway on the list of National Scenic Byways.
  • Pawtucket Avenue Paving and Sidewalk Replacement
  • Location: Pawtucket Ave. (Veteran’s Memorial Pkwy. to Waterman Ave.), East Providence
  • Funding Amount: $5.6 million
  • Project Sponsor: Rhode Island Department of Transportation
  • Description: This busy route to schools, shopping centers, and residential living centers will be paved and sidewalks replaced, including sidewalks used by students walking to nearby East Providence High School and the Bayside Stadium. The road is an important connector for many city residents and serves as a main artery to nearby I-195.
  • RT-114, Wampanoag Trail Resurfacing
  • Location: RT-114, Wampanoag Trail (East Shore Exp. to Federal Rd.), in Barrington and East Providence
  • Funding Amount: $5.92 million
  • Project Sponsor: Rhode Island Department of Transportation
  • Description: The project involves resurfacing to the roadway, complete sidewalk replacement, and ADA curb ramp installation. Benefits include a complete streets approach to the pavement project, offering more amenities to all road users.

This year, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T & I) Committee accepted funding requests – formally called Member Designated Project Requests (MDPs) – from House members for important transportation and infrastructure projects in their Congressional Districts. Cicilline worked closely with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, which recommended eligible priority projects from the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).

Also included in the INVEST Act was Congressman Cicilline’s Amendment to provide $39 million in annual funding for the National Scenic Byways Program. This will allow the Secretary of Transportation to designate new National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads and allow already designated roads, including the Revolutionary Heritage Byway in Bristol, Rhode Island to apply for competitive grants.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Cicilline, Malliotakis Introduce Legislation to Help Community and Senior Centers

 U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and U.S. Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) introduced the Community and Senior Center Support Act, bipartisan legislation that waives the rural-area requirement for the USDA Community Facilities Grant Program, providing community and senior centers across the country access to millions of dollars in federal funds to help build or improve these essential community facilities.

“Community and senior centers provide essential services in cities and towns across America, and especially in Rhode Island,” Cicilline said. “This bill will make it easier for more communities to secure federal funding that is often necessary to build and maintain these facilities. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure this bipartisan bill is signed into law.”

“New York City has a rapidly increasing senior population and our community and senior centers provide critical programs and resources for the older residents in our community,” said Congresswoman Malliotakis. “For years, we’ve sadly seen the de Blasio administration attempt to decrease funding for the Department for the Aging (DFTA) when he should have been doing the opposite. I’m proud to work with Representative Cicilline on legislation that will make federal funds more accessible for community and senior centers that are in desperate need of assistance to repair or build new facilities.”

Community and senior centers provide essential resources to towns across the nation. From health and fitness programs to nutrition and meal support to childcare and educational services to volunteer and employment opportunities, these gathering places bring together Americans of all ages. Unfortunately, many towns cannot afford this essential community infrastructure.

The USDA Community Facilities Grant Program offers direct loans, loan guarantees, and grants to develop or improve essential public services and facilities in communities across America. Public bodies, non-profit organizations, and federally recognized American Indian Tribes can use the funds to construct, expand, or improve facilities.

A summary of the ways the Community and Senior Center Support Act will benefit Americans of all ages is included is included below:

  • Direct Loan and Grant Program: Provides affordable funding to develop community and senior centers.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria
  • Loan Guarantees: Provides loan guarantees to eligible lenders to develop community and senior centers.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria (lender may be located anywhere in the US)
  • Technical Assistance and Training Grant: Provide grants to public bodies and private non-profit corporations to provide associations Technical Assistance and/or training with respect to community and senior center programs. Once needs have been identified, the grantee can assist in identifying public and private resources to finance those identified community needs.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria
  • Economic Impact Initiative Grant: Provides funding to assist in the development of community and senior centers in communities with extreme unemployment and severe economic depression.
    • Eligibility: have a “not employed rate” greater than 19.5% and the median household income of the community being served must be below 90% of the state non-metropolitan median household income
    • Grant assistance is based on a graduated scale determined by population, median household income, total project costs, and financial need
  • Community Development Initiative Grants: Provides grants to help non-profit housing and community development organizations, low-income communities, and federally recognized tribes support community and senior centers.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria
  • Tribal College Initiative Grants: Provides funding to Tribal Colleges to make capital improvements to community and senior centers.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria
  • Direct Loan and Grant Program: Provides affordable funding to develop community and senior centers.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria

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