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Chairman Graves in The Washington Times: T&I Committee Ready to Deliver Supply Chain Solutions

Washington, D.C., May 17, 2023 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) published an opinion piece in The Washington Times today outlining the bills that the Committee will soon put forward to strengthen our nation’s supply chain and alleviate the disruptions that have burdened American families, workers, businesses, and the economy as a whole for the last two years. The Committee’s approach is in stark contrast with that of the Biden administration, which has chosen to pursue polices that have only worsened the situation while pointing fingers at the private sector.

Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will deliver supply chain solutions Americans deserve

By House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO)

Since President Biden took office more than two years ago, his administration pursued a big spending, anti-energy agenda that led to sky high inflation, a worsening supply chain crisis, and compounding hardships for so many Americans.

As a result, the American people entrusted Republicans with control over the House of Representatives, and with that newfound majority we passed the Lower Energy Costs Act (H.R. 1), priority legislation to lower energy costs for all Americans. Now lawmakers on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are working on legislation to address persistent supply chain challenges.

There isn’t one simple solution to these complex problems. There are many factors that contribute to the high cost of moving goods throughout our nation’s supply chain. But the policies the Biden administration and liberal leaders pushed through last Congress not only missed the mark they’ve made matters worse.

The radical agenda they pursued through the ironically named Inflation Reduction Act, as well as actions by the Executive Branch, have increased energy and transportation costs, discouraged work, and further fueled inflation.

President Biden in both his actions and rhetoric has demonstrated both a lack of understanding of the multifaceted supply chain issues, and the fact that his administration has no real plan to solve it. During the height of the crisis, I was personally offended by his calls for the private sector to “step up,” specifically calling out “terminal operators, railways, trucking companies, shippers, and other retailers,” while his administration focused on photo ops and finger-pointing. It’s not the responsibility of private companies and workers to bail out this administration’s bad policies that led to this crisis and have continued to make it worse along the way.

It’s time for leadership on this issue that has impacted every American. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is ready to put forward commonsense solutions to build a more resilient supply chain, protect the efficient movement of goods, and provide Americans with some much-needed relief.

As I’ve already stated, there is no one easy fix. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed, and the Biden administration’s policies worsened, fragilities within our nation’s supply chain.

For instance, a lack of safe and adequate truck parking, congestion at ports and freight distribution facilities, inefficiencies and poor conditions at intermodal connectors, and the increasing cost and shortage of equipment have all hindered the trucking industry’s capacity to move freight. Workforce shortages are also a persistent issue across industries.

This year, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has dedicated multiple hearings to examining the nation’s supply chain challenges and potential solutions. In the coming weeks, our Committee will focus on moving legislation that will improve government efficiency, remove barriers to supply chain efficiency, address labor shortage issues, target investment toward supply chain improvements, and more.

Unlike what we’ve seen in the previous two years, we will not push through one massive package with nobody really knowing what is in it. Our solutions will come in the form of standalone, targeted bills including measures that can attract bipartisan support.

It’s easy to talk about the supply chain problem, point the finger at others, and deflect blame while not actually taking any substantive action to tackle the crisis at hand.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is putting in the work to develop solutions that will pull back the heavy hand of the federal government from supply chain operations, allow infrastructure funds to be used to increase efficiency at our nation’s ports, expand vital streamlining reforms, address the trucker shortage that’s holding the supply chain hostage in many cases, and prioritize critical supply chain projects for grants and infrastructure funding.

Everyday Americans already have enough on their plates. The supply chain disruptions that have persisted for several years have only created more obstacles to putting food on the table, paying the bills, and living out the American Dream.

It’s time for elected officials to “step up,” to quote the President, even though he hasn’t followed his own advice. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is ready to do just that.

U.S. Representative Sam Graves, Missouri Republican, is the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. His leadership on infrastructure policy is critical as he works on behalf of Missouri’s 34,000 highway miles and 10,400 bridges in need of maintenance and repairs as well as the Sixth Congressional District’s two major rivers, the Missouri and the Mississippi. He is also a member of the Armed Services Committee.

Read the op-ed online here.