In the 113th Congress, I was selected to serve at the Chairman of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Transportation issues are among the most critical that we face in Congress and as a nation. Our transportation infrastructure is the backbone that supports economic growth and global competiveness. I will focus on strengthening America’s transportation networks to make us more efficient, more competitive, and more prosperous.
The Ninth District has played an important role in the growth of our nation. It’s railroad industry has transformed the economy, the locks and dams systems allowed for countless goods to be moved across the country and the district is home to the National Road, the first highway constructed by the federal government, which opened the nation to the West and propelled our country forward.
Transportation is important. It’s about people and how they live their lives. How they get to work; get their children to school; go to stores to buy food, clothing and other necessities; and how they visit family and friends.
It’s also about business. Transportation is a critical part of how the supply chain functions, how raw materials get to factories, how finished products get to markets, how food gets from farms to our kitchens and how energy products move from production areas to consuming areas.
An efficient national transportation network allows businesses to lower transportation costs, which lowers production costs and enhances productivity and profits. It allows American businesses to be competitive in the global marketplace and for our economy to prosper and grow. One need only to look at our Interstate Highway System to see how investment in our national transportation network has benefited our nation and spawned tremendous economic growth.
And it is about America. Our national transportation system binds us together. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower observed, without the unifying force of transportation, “we would be a mere alliance of many separate parts.”