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Neal, Blumenauer Urge Chairman Brady to Assert W&M’s Authority in Addressing Crumbling U.S. Infrastructure

April 13, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) requested Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) immediately hold hearings on proposals to fund the repair and improvement of the United States’ crumbling infrastructure. In their letter to the Chairman, the members cite a report in the Wall Street Journal on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s emergency declaration this week to close more than 100 deficient bridges in the state.

“Structurally deficient bridges are not unique to Mississippi; there are more than 50,000 structurally deficient bridges in the United States carrying 188 million trips every day,” wrote the members. “The Ways and Means Committee has an obligation to do our part to advance legislation to ensure that our infrastructure needs are adequately met.“

Despite the extent and severity of the problem, the Ways and Means Committee has only held one hearing on infrastructure funding and financing in more than seven years. Neal and Blumenauer note that in that time, “the United States’ global competitiveness on infrastructure has declined and the costs of maintaining a good state of repair have grown.”

Full text of the members’ letter is available here.