Missouri Congressman Sam Graves will be the ranking member of the Republican delegation to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee when the 116th Congress begins work in January, his office said today.
Graves (R-MO) was elected by members of the House Republican Conference to lead their members in the committee, which is responsible for funding and infrastructure planning across a broad range of travel modes. The conference includes subcommittees on: aviation; Coast Guard and maritime transportation; economic development, public buildings, and emergency management; highways and transit; railroads, pipelines, and hazardous materials; and water resources and environment.
As a Republican, Graves will head a minority on the committee, which will be led by a yet-unnamed Democratic chairman, after voters in this month's mid-term elections swung the legislative body from a Republican to a Democratic majority.
Issues likely to be on his plate in the coming term will include negotiating with the Trump administration and fellow congressmen on a nationwide infrastructure spending bill and on identifying funding sources such as motor fuel taxes, mileage taxes, and contributions by states, localities, and public-private sector partnerships.
"Infrastructure seems to be at the forefront of everyone's to-do-list and I believe my experience as a professional pilot and legislator coupled with my policy depth and conservative values will serve the conference well as we begin discussions on an infrastructure bill," Graves said in a statement. "Addressing our crumbling infrastructure has long been a bipartisan issue, and I am intent on working with all my colleagues, the Senate, and President Trump to craft an infrastructure proposal that includes finding a long-term funding solution for the Highway Trust Fund. Infrastructure drives every aspect of our economy and at the end of the day, this effort will save people's lives, time and money," he said.
I am honored to be chosen by my colleagues to lead T&I as RM. Addressing our crumbling infrastructure has long been a bipartisan issue, & I am intent on working with my colleagues, the Senate, & @POTUS to craft an infrastructure proposal. Full statement?https://t.co/5BpR5iTCG0— Rep. Sam Graves (@RepSamGraves) November 30, 2018
One of Graves' colleagues on the committee, outgoing Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA)—who is retiring in January—praised his appointment. "No one has as much knowledge and passion for the issues before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as Sam," Shuster said in a release. "He knows how important infrastructure is to our economy and the everyday lives of Americans, will work hard to promote sound transportation policy and uphold conservative principles, and is an outstanding choice to lead Republicans on the T&I Committee in the coming Congress."