|Republican Infrastructure Principles
Infrastructure remains an issue on which Congress can get something done this year, and Committee Republicans stand ready to work with Committee Democrats to pass bills that can earn bipartisan support and the President’s signature. Committee Members on both sides of the aisle know that's the only recipe for success for infrastructure legislation, such as a Water Resources Development Act, and a surface transportation reauthorization bill.
In the planned Committee development of a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill, Republican Members will focus on some core principles:
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.
The current surface transportation law, the FAST Act, expires on September 30, 2020.
In this op-ed, Ranking Member Graves wrote, "Partisan posturing on infrastructure will get us nowhere. On this committee, we all know the recipe for success in addressing America’s infrastructure needs is through partnership, so let’s get to work."