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January 31, 2019 1:00 PM, EST

House Policymakers to Debate Infrastructure Costs Feb. 7

Highway congestion The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine via YouTube

Transportation authorizers in the U.S. House of Representatives have scheduled a hearing on Feb. 7 to kick off debate on an infrastructure policy measure that would address big-picture concerns across the freight and commuter sectors.

The new chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure panel, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), has indicated the hearing would examine costs associated with inaction on rebuilding efforts.

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Peter DeFazio

DeFazio

“When I took over as chairman … I promised that I would work to build bipartisan agreement for commonsense solutions to address the major issues facing our aging, 20th century infrastructure. It is only fitting that the first full committee hearing will examine the current state of our roads, bridges, transit systems, ports and airports, and what will happen if we do not immediately begin to address the massive backlog of critical needs.” DeFazio said.

“I look forward to kicking off my chairmanship with a thoughtful, productive discussion that will inform our work on a comprehensive infrastructure bill that creates jobs, and increases economic growth for all Americans,” he added.

After the 2018 midterm elections, DeFazio said he aims to unveil an infrastructure measure by the summer. Details regarding a sustainable funding source for the construction and maintenance of the country’s transportation grid have yet to be revealed. A 2015 highway law expires in the fall of 2020.