Senate, House Discuss Issue

Committees in the United States Senate and House of Representatives host hearings on “Driving the Road to Recovery: Rebuilding America’s Transportation Infrastructure” to examine surface transportation infrastructure needs across the country, including freight, rail, highway, and port infrastructure, and the impact of those needs on surface transportation reauthorization. 

Build Back Better

After passing the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, the House and Senate will take a look at the Biden administration’s new plans for rebuilding and revamping America’s infrastructure.

Hearings will allow a panel of expert witnesses to discuss the current challenges posed by transportation infrastructure at the local, state, and federal level. Additionally, talks will address how federal action can work to improve the nation’s transportation systems and boost the economy.

Before the start of the infrastructure hearing on March 24, the Senate committee voted 24-4 to advance the nomination of Polly Trottenberg as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to testify at the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) hearing on March 25. He will speak about “The Administration’s Priorities for Transportation Infrastructure.”

House T&I Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) states, “The time to go big and bold on our nation’s crumbling infrastructure has arrived, and I’m ready to turn our conversations with Secretary Buttigieg, as well as President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, into action to finally bring our infrastructure out of the Eisenhower era.”

Moving forward

While President Obama and President Trump had ambitious goals to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, little progress was made. President Biden is promising to pass a multi trillion-dollar package intended to not only fix vital infrastructure, but also create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and narrow economic inequality.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem to agree that America’s infrastructure needs an upgrade. There is hope for bipartisan support of the package. “There are a lot of things we disagree on here in our nation’s capital. One of the things there’s broad agreement on is to get to work on service, transportation, our roads, our highways and our bridges. That’s a Democrat priority, it’s a Republican priority, it is a priority of our new president,” said Sen. Tom Carper, Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

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