Senate, House hearings to focus on infrastructure

March 22, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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Infrastructure is certainly the hot topic this week in Washington, D.C.

Committees in the Senate and House will both host full hearings to discuss the issue. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will have a full hearing on Wednesday, March 24, titled, “Driving the Road to Recovery: Rebuilding America’s Transportation Infrastructure.” Then on Thursday, March 25, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will have the hearing, “The Administration’s Priorities for Transportation Infrastructure.”

Before the Senate hearing begins, there will be an executive session regarding the nomination of Polly Trottenberg as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Infrastructure plan

Following the recent signing into law of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, the Biden administration has turned its focus to rebuilding and revamping America’s infrastructure. The New York Times reported on Monday, March 22, that the White House will consider splitting an estimated $3 trillion economic recovery proposal into two bills.

Last week, DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg hinted at big changes and said the administration’s infrastructure plan will offer a “once in a century” opportunity to transform transportation in the United States.

Buttigieg is slated to testify at the T&I hearing on March 25.

“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,” said House T&I Chair Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.

Report card

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem to agree that America’s infrastructure needs an upgrade. Land Line’s Tyson Fisher reported earlier this month that the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation a C-minus on its infrastructure report card. Most notable to truckers, the United States received a C on bridges and a D on roads.

The report said 42% of the more than 600,000 bridges are at least 50 years old and that more than 40% of the nation’s road system is in poor or mediocre condition. LL

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.