At Hearing on Transportation Budget, Senator Murray Underscores: We Can’t Compete Without World-Class Ports, Safe Bridges and Railways, and Strong Transit Systems

Senator Murray: “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law we passed laid a strong foundation for an infrastructure decade—now, we have to build on it.”


ICYMI: Senator Murray Statement on the President’s Budget Request – MORE HERE 


***WATCH: Senator Murray Discusses Transportation Budget with Secretary Buttigieg***


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, at a hearing with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on the President’s FY24 budget request for the Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, underscored the importance of investing in our nation’s transportation infrastructure and systems so people and goods can safely get from point A-to-B and America can remain competitive in the global economy. She made clear we need to build on the historic investments made in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—not slash investments that keep us competitive and keep families safe, as House Republicans have proposed to do.


“As we are writing the funding bills for the year ahead, we absolutely have to remember that keeping our families safe and our nation competitive is of course about defense spending but it’s also important to remind ourselves that our families’ safety is depending on nondefense spending as well. When it comes to protecting our families, we have to make sure people and goods are getting safely and efficiently from point A to point B. And when it comes to keeping our economy competitive, we can’t compete with China without well-run ports who ship American goods out to the world,” said Senator Murray.We know we can’t compete without strong public transportation networks that connect our communities, are accessible to everybody, strengthen our local economies, and get people to work, school, and more. And, of course, we can’t compete when it comes to clean energy and reducing emissions—without investing in green transportation.”


“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law we passed laid a strong foundation for an infrastructure decade—now, we have to build on it,” she said.


During the hearing, Senator Murray said the recent train derailments have put a spotlight on serious vulnerabilities in our nation’s rail system and asked Secretary Buttigieg about DOT’s efforts to improve rail safety and how the President’s budget request would do just that.


“I wanted to ask you about the recent derailments in Ohio and in my state and how they really demonstrate significant vulnerabilities in our nation’s rail system. We’ve been here before with crude oil accidents, and I worked with the Administration through this subcommittee actually to require comprehensive oil spill response plans and funding to improve safety practices and training for short-line and regional railroads,” Senator Murray said, then asking Secretary Buttigieg: “Can you talk a little bit about how are you using existing resources from FY 2023 to increase rail safety, and maybe what’s in this budget that will help you with that?