Click here to watch Chairman Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a full committee hearing on “The Use of Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Innovative Financing in Improving Infrastructure to Enhance Safety, Mobility, and Economic Opportunity.”

The hearing featured testimony from Ann Mayer, executive director of the Riverside County Transportation Commission; Jennifer Aument, group general manager of Transurban North America; and Christopher Coes, vice president for real estate policy and external affairs at Smart Growth America and director of LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors.

For more information on their testimonies click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“This is the sixth hearing our committee has held this year on improving our nation’s highways, bridges, and water projects. 

“As these hearings have shown, infrastructure is critical to our nation’s prosperity.

“And the needs, and solutions, for rural and urban areas are frequently different.

“Solutions to address and pay for fixing our nation’s crumbling roads, and bridges are not ‘one-size-fits-all.’

“Private financing, especially for transportation projects, tends to be much less effective in sparsely populated parts of our country. It can play an important role in and around population centers.

“Big-ticket projects that cost billions of dollars, or even projects that cost hundreds of millions of dollars, are rare in rural and small states like Wyoming.

“Large projects are frequently critical for urban areas. 

“Many of these projects are made possible through financing combining federal, state, and local assets.

“Today, we are here to receive testimony from experts about the range of financing options that can be used to rebuild our transportation infrastructure.

“Leveraging public funding to maximize private investment is a tool the administration strongly supports.

“A primary existing mechanism is the loans and loan guarantees provided by the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, commonly referred to as TIFIA.

“TIFIA loans have been used successfully for the construction of critical transportation infrastructure.

“Today, we will hear about a TIFIA success story in California from Anne Mayer, the executive director of the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

“Jennifer Aument of Transurban will testify about other innovative transportation funding options and ways we can improve and broaden TIFIA so more of our communities can benefit.

“Mr. Christopher Coes will share Smart Growth America’s ideas about how to improve the program for smaller and transit-oriented projects.

“I believe that, working together in a bipartisan way, this committee can find transportation solutions that work for both rural and urban America.”