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November 1, 2019 1:30 PM, EDT

Democrats Neglecting Infrastructure in Favor of Impeachment, Barrasso Says

'They’re not doing things that are important for all of us, like fixing our roads, fixing our bridges'
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee Rep. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. (left) and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, walk to a meeting with Republican Senate leadership at the offices of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) in Washington, on Feb. 11, 2019. (Associated Press/Andrew Harnik)

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As Congressional Democrats pursue an impeachment agenda, they are neglecting certain infrastructure concerns, the U.S. Senate’s top surface transportation policymaker says.

“Republicans are focused on the sorts of things that actually move the country forward,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, told reporters on Capitol Hill on Oct. 29.

“As a result of the Democrats’ obsession, they’re not doing the things that are important, like paying the troops, funding the military. They’re not doing things that are important for all of us, like fixing our roads, fixing our bridges,” Barrasso added.

Over the summer, Barrasso’s panel advanced a five-year bill that would update policy for federal highway programs. The measure, which garnered bipartisan backing, is designed to reauthorize a 2015 highway law that expires in the fall of 2020.

The Senate measure, however, does little to address policy pertaining to public transit, the commercial transportation sector and the Highway Trust Fund. Other committees in the upper chamber are tasked with addressing those policies. The trust fund relies on dwindling revenue from the federal fuel tax, and it is essential for funding highway projects.

Barrasso’s counterpart in the U.S. House of Representatives, Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), has indicated he intends to consider his version of the highway reauthorization measure early next year.

On Oct. 31, the House passed a resolution by a vote of 232-196 that outlined procedures designed to guide its impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

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