April 28, 2021

Chair DeFazio Applauds President Biden’s Focus on Infrastructure During Address to Congress: “Failing to Act on Infrastructure is No Longer an Option”

Washington, DC – Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) released the following statement after President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress, during which the president urged Congress to act boldly on infrastructure:

“Tonight, President Biden spoke directly and clearly to Congress and all of America about the urgent need to invest in our infrastructure in order to create good-paying jobs and restore the middle class, bolster America’s competitive edge in the global economy by spurring American manufacturing and ingenuity, and address one of the greatest challenges of our time—our changing climate. The reality is that we can’t afford NOT to make these investments. The American people are tired of potholes, failing bridges, and congested roads today, and they want meaningful action to ensure a prosperous, healthier future for their children and grandchildren tomorrow. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan lays out what people in communities of all sizes—urban, rural, and everything in between—have been calling on their national leaders to deliver not just for years, but for decades.

“That is why my committee will be considering surface transportation reauthorization legislation next month that will lay the groundwork for a significant portion of the American Jobs Plan. Our bill will propose transformational investments to move our infrastructure and transportation systems out of the Eisenhower era and into the modern era, with a focus on creating infrastructure resilient to our changing climate, electrifying our highway system, reconnecting communities and creating opportunity, moving projects across the finish line, and making historic investments in transit, rail, and other cleaner mobility options as we push toward a zero carbon pollution transportation sector.

“And in doing so, we’ll create jobs—millions of jobs—that can’t be exported. As President Biden noted, the American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America. That’s because when we rebuild America, we will do it with materials built in America. After all, as the president reminded us tonight, workers built this country, not Wall Street. But with the right kind of investments in our communities, American workers will once again drive the biggest economic expansion in generations.

“The bottom line is that failing to act on infrastructure is no longer an option. Throwing money at the status quo is no longer an option. It’s time for big and bold policy changes, and I look forward to working with President Biden, Vice President Harris, Secretary Buttigieg, and my colleagues in Congress in order to get transformational infrastructure legislation signed into law this year.”