Committee Republican Leaders’ Statement on Chairman DeFazio’s Surface Transportation Bill
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Ranking Member Rick Crawford (R-AR) made the following joint statement in response to today’s release of Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio’s surface transportation reauthorization bill:
“Democrats and Republicans alike know the only way to complete a reauthorization is if we work together. For decades, that’s been the proven formula for successfully producing surface transportation laws. Unfortunately, driven by the Speaker’s partisan agenda, Committee Republicans were not involved in the development of this bill.
“We stood at the ready to work all year, since releasing our six infrastructure principles in January: ensuring state flexibility, focusing on core programs, streamlining the review process, addressing rural infrastructure needs, incorporating new technologies, and fixing the Highway Trust Fund for the long-term.
“However, we were not given the opportunity to address any of our priorities in this legislation. For example, today’s partisan bill lacks critical flexibility for the states, its outsized funding increases for urban areas will leave rural America even further behind, and numerous new green mandates and extreme progressive goals are woven throughout the fabric of new and existing core programs.
“We also need to consider what our economy is going through because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of America’s workers, including those in the transportation sector, continue to grapple with our new, complex, and evolving reality. We believe a rapid seismic shift in our transportation programs will add to the already considerable uncertainty in an industry struggling for its survival.
“Although today’s bill does not reflect our input, Committee Republicans will continue to work with the Senate, stakeholders, and any Member of both parties to ensure our priorities are addressed as the legislative process moves forward.”