Washington, D.C. - Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) released the following statement upon the Senate’s vote to confirm Pete Buttigieg as the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation:
“I congratulate Secretary Buttigieg on his confirmation to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation. Improving our Nation’s infrastructure is vital to getting our country moving again and driving economic expansion. I look forward to working with the Secretary on policies that can pass with strong bipartisan support through two nearly evenly divided Chambers of Congress. Working with House Republicans will be an important part of any successful effort.
“I sincerely believe we can find common ground. For example, Secretary Buttigieg already signaled he agrees that America’s rural infrastructure needs are important and must be addressed. I also agree with his conclusion that increasing or indexing the federal gas tax is not a long-term solution, especially given the new Administration’s and House Democrats’ goal of virtually eliminating gas-powered vehicles. Clearly, we need to find a fairer and more sustainable method of supporting the Highway Trust Fund, and I look forward to working with Secretary Buttigieg to explore a viable replacement for the federal gas tax, such as a Vehicle Miles Traveled system.
“In addition, I look forward to meeting and working with Secretary Buttigieg to better strengthen state flexibility, move projects ahead more efficiently, address rural infrastructure needs, harness the potential of technology, and improve our highways, airports, ports, waterways, and rail transportation systems.”