EPW Hearing Statement: Flood Control Infrastructure: Safety Questions Raised by Current Events “Mr. Chairman, thank you for having this hearing. I am very pleased that we are continuing to work on infrastructure issues in this committee.
PoliticalNews.me - Mar 03,2017 - EPW Hearing Statement: Flood Control Infrastructure: Safety Questions Raised by Current Events
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held the hearing, “Flood Control Infrastructure: Safety Questions Raised by Current Events.” Below is the opening statement of Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.), as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Chairman, thank you for having this hearing. I am very pleased that we are continuing to work on infrastructure issues in this committee. I believe that is a space where we can truly find consensus between our parties and honor what I like to call the 80-20 Rule. President Trump has focused on an issue that many of us have raised for some time: America’s need to modernize and rebuild aging infrastructure. We heard more about his views last night in his State of the Union Address. Democratic Senators continue to press for consensus on the issue of infrastructure, and it appears to me that we are one of the few Senate Committees really talking about working on a bill in a bipartisan comprehensive way. For that, Mr. Chairman, I commend you on your leadership.
“I believe that members on both sides of the aisle feel an urgent need to move forward on a comprehensive infrastructure package in a thoughtful way, rather than to kick the can down the road. As a recovering Governor, I judge any legislation that makes these kinds of investments by asking a simple question: ‘does this create a nurturing environment for job growth and job preservation?’ In addition to seeking to answer that question, I also believe in Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy that the role of government is to do for the people what they cannot do for themselves. I think keeping this philosophy in mind is extremely important as we talk about a topic like flood control. Flood control investments are not ones average citizens can make for themselves, and not only do the construction of dams and levees create jobs, these investments also support local economies, help drive commerce, and put our communities on the path to stability. And it’s so important we make investments, because when dams and levees fail, they can result in loss of life and economic devastation.
“As we work through this hearing and other infrastructure oversight and policy decisions, I think that we will struggle with two central points: what is the role of the federal, state and local government in addressing these infrastructure concerns, and are the three levels of government up to the challenge?
“The McKinsey Global Institute has a 2013 report that says we need to invest between $150 and $180 billion more in infrastructure every year, just to make up for years of underinvestment that is hindering our country on a multitude of levels from limiting economic growth to threatening personal safety. This comprehensive report looks at all the components of infrastructure, but this message of drastic need is easily applicable to flood control. This same report found that one of the best ways