In Trump Era, GOP Cites Partisan Politics at Traditionally Bipartisan Transportation Panel

The politics of the moment on Capitol Hill, marked by the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, have disturbed the once bipartisan atmosphere of the transportation panel in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to Republicans on that committee.

In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent before the Thanksgiving recess, the top Republicans on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee expressed concern that “partisan and political battles” are eclipsing “what we were sent to Washington to do — work to improve the nation’s infrastructure.”

Missouri Republican Rep. Sam Graves, the panel’s ranking member, and the ranking Republicans on the subcommittees, argued that passage of major legislation over the years has been facilitated by collaboration regardless of party affiliation. And going forward, a multiyear highway reauthorization measure would go far thanks to bipartisan backing. Take, for instance, the surface transportation panel in the Senate, which advanced its highway reauthorization in July with bipartisan support.

“Partnership — not partisanship — is what leads to achieving our shared goal of improving America’s infrastructure,” the T&I Republicans wrote Nov. 26. “It’s the approach necessary to tackle the important work that still lies before us this Congress, including a vital surface transportation reauthorization bill, the next Water Resources Development Act and other legislation that will address our nation’s infrastructure needs.”