Ranking Member Sam Graves Statement on State of the Union
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) released the following statement on the President’s State of the Union address:
“The economy continues to thrive under President Trump, thanks to lower taxes, less burdensome regulation, and a renewed sense of confidence among Americans. To build on the momentum of the last three years, the President has asked Congress to send him bipartisan legislation that makes sound investments in our infrastructure and provides a further economic lift to communities across the country. It’s our job to do what Americans sent us here to do and work together to pass bills that can gain broad support. Committee Republicans look forward to a collaborative process that incorporates our principles and results in a sorely needed surface transportation reauthorization bill, water resources legislation, and other measures that improve our infrastructure and our growing economy.”
Last week, Committee Republicans outlined principles for the 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.