May 15, 2020

Chair DeFazio Applauds Temporary Change that Allows Congress to Conduct Business Remotely During the National Emergency

Washington, DC — Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives approved H. Res. 965, which allows Congress to temporarily conduct virtual committee proceedings and implement remote voting on the House floor during the COVID-19 pandemic:   
“Ever since President Trump declared a national emergency concerning COVID-19 more than two months ago, workplaces across our country, including the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Senate, have adapted their daily operations in order to help prevent the spread of this insidious virus and save lives—and the U.S. House of Representatives should be no different. While I’m proud of what our Committee has been able to achieve since mid-March, including ten bipartisan phone briefings and a virtual forum, all while continuing our work on our legislative priorities and oversight duties, today’s vote brings us closer to modernizing how Congress operates by allowing us to conduct committee hearings and markups remotely during this national emergency so we can continue our important work on behalf of the American people while prioritizing public health and following the advice of experts.” 
Since the national emergency declaration, the Committee has held 10 bipartisan briefings, including a virtual forum, and has sent 13 oversight letters regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, members of our Committee, joined by Chair Peter DeFazio, have hosted two virtual roundtables, one focused on the need for infrastructure investment and another to discuss emergency management and how to best prepare for the 2020 hurricane season amid COVID-19. The Committee has also drafted significant provisions affecting aviation, highways, rail, transit, water quality, emergency management, and other matters within its jurisdiction as part of the CARES Act and The Heroes Act.