Need for infrastructure investment stressed at White House meeting

February 12, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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In a meeting with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday, Feb. 11, President Joe Biden stressed the importance of Republicans and Democrats working together to create a sustainable infrastructure plan.

“We want to talk about infrastructure, and this committee is central to everything that’s going to happen,” Biden said. “I’ve been around long enough … that it used to be that infrastructure wasn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. There are not many Republican or Democratic roads and bridges, and so on.”

Vice President Kamala Harris also attended the meeting in the Oval Office, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg attended virtually.

According to a White House news release, the meeting was held to discuss the “critical need for investing in modern and sustainable American infrastructure.” By investing in infrastructure, the White House said it would be delivering jobs to communities across the country.

“They also reiterated their commitment to making sure no workers are left behind, underscoring how the administration will bring construction, manufacturing, engineering and skilled-trades jobs – with the choice to join a union – directly to the communities that are too often left behind.”

No details on a plan or how it would be funded were revealed.

Last summer, House Democrats pushed for the $1.5 trillion INVEST in America Act that stalled in the Senate.

Truck parking crisis

It is not clear what the next highway bill or infrastructure package will look like, but Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation, said earlier this week during a markup hearing that he promised OOIDA President Todd Spencer to “meaningfully address” the truck parking crisis in the next highway bill.

DeFazio’s remarks were made in response to Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., who introduced the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act in the previous congressional session.

“I had a long talk with Todd Spencer with OOIDA last week,” DeFazio said. “We delved into many issues, but one of the most prominent issues was truck parking. I promised him that we would meaningfully address that issue in (the highway bill), and I’ll be happy to work with you on that where we can access the Highway Trust Fund and dedicate some dollars to it.” LL

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Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.