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Louisiana Congressional Delegation Members Pen Letter on Infrastructure Bill

October 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Garret Graves joined members of Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation in setting the record straight on how infrastructure legislation currently before Congress would affect Louisiana. 

The letter was released following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s withdrawal of $4.3 trillion social welfare expansion and $1.2 trillion stimulus and infrastructure bills. 

Graves statement:

“Yesterday, we just enacted legislation to provide assistance to victims of Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Zeta and Ida trying to rebuild their homes and businesses. The law also includes an estimated $2 billion in flood control, coastal restoration and hurricane protection funding to help make south Louisiana a safer place to live. This is a big win for Louisiana, but we continue to have important infrastructure needs.

“Any infrastructure bill must actually address our traffic problems, help improve broadband access, improve flood protection and help restore our coast. We cannot support efforts to tax Louisiana citizens to build projects in New York and California.

“I am committed to working with Republicans and Democrats to help develop an infrastructure bill that is fair to the citizens of Louisiana, is transparent and actually provides a return on investment.”

Key excerpt of the letter can be found below, and the full letter can be found here:

“In recent years, we have secured an estimated $10 billion in infrastructure improvements in Louisiana. From the elevation of LA-1 and the multiple expansions of I-10 and I-12, to the West Shore Protection and Comite Diversion Projects, to the Monroe Street Corridor project and numerous port improvements, securing funding for Louisiana’s critical infrastructure has always been a priority of our congressional delegation. We fully support responsible investment in  Louisiana’s infrastructure needs. But recent actions by the Biden administration jeopardize this opportunity for our state, and the massive legislative package before Congress is, simply put, bad for Louisiana.”

“For starters, the bill provides less than 10% of the new funding for roads and bridges and shortchanges states like Louisiana, while making cash infusions into urban transit programs at $170 billion. Sixty percent of these transit formula funds go to just ten metropolitan areas — and none are in Louisiana.”

“Also, one of the most important federal missions in Louisiana is the implementation of water resource projects by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. But Biden made clear through his budget earlier this year that the Corps will not fund any project that benefits or lowers the cost of gasoline, oil, or natural gas, which could potentially harm many of the ongoing flood protection projects in our state.”

“While we agree that our nation is long-overdue for meaningful infrastructure investments, the administration has already been clear that they intend to politically manipulate who benefits just as we saw in the Obama-Biden administration’s ARRA. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced he would award transportation project funds based upon environmental justice, climate change and expanding labor unions. When these criteria were first applied to a major grant program, there was not a single road project in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama or Florida that received funding.”