Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) released the following statement regarding House Democrats’ list of infrastructure principles announced today:
“With the House finally beginning to take steps toward infrastructure legislation, Committee Republicans look forward to a bipartisan process in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“I may not agree with all of the principles in the majority’s outline, but as the Republican leader of this Committee, I expect to play a constructive role in the development of infrastructure bills before us this year, including expected surface transportation and water resources legislation. Any serious effort toward enacting infrastructure legislation must incorporate Republican principles as well. The time for partisan posturing from House Democrat Leadership is over. On this Committee, we know the recipe for success in addressing America’s infrastructure needs is through partnership, so let’s get to work.”
Yesterday, Graves and Highways and Transit Subcommittee Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-IL) outlined principles Committee Republicans will focus on during development of a surface transportation reauthorization bill:
Addressing the long-term sustainability of the Highway Trust Fund – continuing the status quo and relying on the fuel taxes as the primary source of funding for the Highway Trust Fund is not a long-term solution to the Trust Fund’s ongoing solvency issues.
Incorporating innovative developments in technology to improve our infrastructure – technological innovation has dramatic potential to increase transportation efficiency, improve safety and the environment, and create jobs. Our federal policies must better reflect this reality.
Streamlining the project delivery process to maximize available funding – time is money, and reducing red tape in the project review and delivery process will yield better results for taxpayer investments in infrastructure and save money.
Addressing the infrastructure needs of America’s rural communities – 71% of U.S. public road lane-mileage is in rural America. Any increased investment in federal infrastructure funding must ensure that small and rural communities are getting a fair shake and are not being left behind in rebuilding our Nation’s transportation network.
Prioritizing core programs and functions of our existing federal surface transportation programs – fixing and improving the Nation’s core system of highways and bridges, and facilitating interstate commerce and the movement of freight and people, are critical to the safety and efficiency of the surface transportation network and should not be jeopardized.
Ensuring state flexibility – Each state has its own unique and disparate infrastructure needs, and top-down mandates frequently fail to account for this natural disparity. States, in partnership with their local partners, generally know best how to prioritize and address their individual needs.