Improving and maintaining American transportation infrastructure is critical to the nation remaining economically competitive in a global marketplace, U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) told a gathering of community and business leaders in Cleveland earlier this week.
"Without safe and efficient transportation, we can't be competitive," said Shuster, who was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of Build Up Greater Cleveland, a northeast Ohio coalition of agencies involved in infrastructure issues.
Shuster called for a nationwide effort to raise Americans' awareness of the need for investment to maintain transportation infrastructure assets. Those who need to be educated include newer members of Congress, he said.
In September, the committee is expected to consider the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which is intended to strengthen water transportation networks and processes, Shuster said.
He is cautiously optimistic that Congress will pass the bill, which would require an education effort because nearly half of the current members of Congress were not in their House seats in 2007, the last time the bill was passed, Shuster said.
Later this fall and into next year, the committee will review bills dealing with rail and highways, he said.
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