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President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met last week with Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) and other senators to discuss transportation infrastructure legislation.
The bipartisan group of senators included Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Biden has proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure plan that would grow the economy and reduce the transportation sector's greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). The size of the package is still under discussion, The Washington Post reported.
After the White House meeting, Carper said in a prepared statement that Biden made it clear that investing in transportation is a top priority for his administration.
"The American people desperately want us to bring our roads, trains and bridges out of the last century and into the future," Carper said.
Carper added that he's preparing a bipartisan bill that would reauthorize surface transportation programs in ways that reduce GHGs and creates jobs.
"Our current authorization extension expires in September; there is no time to waste," Carper said. "Now I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues in the House and in the Senate to get this done."
To learn about legislative issues of interest to the rail industry, read this cover story in Progressive Railroading's February issue.