Buttigieg Promotes Infrastructure Law During Election Year

Secretary Actively Championing IIJA Ahead of Presidential Contest
Pete Buttigieg, Wes Moore, Paul Wiedefeld
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks to reporters after the full reopening of the Port of Baltimore on June 12. At center is Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and at left is Maryland DOT leader Paul Wiedefeld. (Associated Press/Mark Schiefelbein)

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During a recent media blitz touting the reopening of the Port of Baltimore just months after a high-profile bridge collapse, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pointed to myriad benefits linked to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The infrastructure law is central to President Joe Biden’s domestic policy agenda, and its 2021 enactment marked a rare bipartisan achievement in a politically polarized Washington.

“[One] big thing that was on our agenda the moment we came through the doors [was] to get a historic infrastructure bill passed — something previous administrations had talked about,” Buttigieg said during a television interview June 12. “Everybody knew we needed it; nobody could get it done. Now, not only is the bill done, but the money is actually moving. The projects are getting done. We’re at 54,000 projects and counting from a streetscape in a town somewhere that can be done in the summer to some of the biggest infrastructure of our lifetime.”

At the U.S. Department of Transportation, many new policy directives and funding announcements credit the IIJA. The law’s implementation primarily entails facilitating and directing billions of dollars for proceeding with big-picture projects designed to improve supply chain connectivity at ports and freight hubs. The law also is designed to enhance safety along key mobility corridors, better accommodate millions of passengers commuting in busy metropolitan regions and push ahead with a marketplace portfolio of emerging technologies.

Nearly every month since the fall of 2021, DOT has highlighted projects and programs made possible by IIJA. The Federal Highway Administration, for instance, recently announced more than $100 million in grant awards for reducing roadway fatalities on federal and tribal lands. “Good transportation infrastructure is vital to the well-being of those traveling on federal lands and for those living and working in Native American, Alaska Native and other indigenous peoples communities,” the secretary observed.

Joe Biden


Other DOT sub-agencies, from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, also credit the infrastructure law for first-of-its-kind funding availability. In March, FMCSA announced more than $180 million in grants for roadway safety improvements. The administration indicated FMCSA’s grant programs work to promote DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy.

“When we improve technology, training and tools to make our roadways safer for truck and bus drivers, everyone benefits,” Buttigieg said. “The Biden-Harris administration is proud to announce more than $180 million to make commercial vehicle driving safer and more efficient while creating on-ramps for veterans and military families entering these great careers.”


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The president’s team and many of his backers point to the bipartisan infrastructure law as one of Biden’s signature legislative achievements. “It’ll be harder for me to deliver for the good people of Pennsylvania without the investments that President Biden is making,” Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) said this month during an event with Buttigieg to champion a new round of infrastructure funding in the Keystone State.

The White House consistently amplifies the administration’s role in managing the new tranche of infrastructure investments. “President Biden forged consensus and compromise between Democrats, Republicans and Independents to demonstrate that our democracy can deliver big wins for the American people,” per White House online background information. “After decades of talk about rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, President Biden delivered the bipartisan infrastructure law — a historic investment in America that will change people’s lives for the better and get America moving again.”

At a debate scheduled for June 27, Biden and former President Donald Trump are expected to outline a domestic policy vision. Rebuilding the country’s transportation typically garners bipartisan backing.

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