Dear President Biden:
As House Republicans, we write because we refuse to stand by and watch as your administration dilutes America’s ability to ensure the safe and efficient movement of goods, people and services throughout our transportation network.
House Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to work on bipartisan solutions to improve our infrastructure. We regret that our efforts have been spurned as Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer and your administration use infrastructure as a Trojan horse to push radical polices that make it more difficult and expensive for families to find or afford basic goods and for businesses to continue the long road to recovery from the pandemic.
We must address the global supply chain and ports crisis before Congress even considers additional social spending and taxation legislation. Our priority right now should be strengthening our nation’s economy and increasing our global competitiveness.
The policies of your presidency and party’s leaders in Congress are exacerbating or simply ignoring the underlying supply chain crisis. These policies include the mishandling of the COVID response in ways that are prolonging unemployment and worker shortages across the economy, to your push for a multi-trillion-dollar spending spree that is driving up prices of everything from gas to groceries. These efforts only serve to weaken American competitiveness and shrink our economy, and they will certainly ensure that this Christmas will not be merry.
The current supply chain crisis exposes how close to its limit our transportation system operates. There is little redundant capacity. Once bottlenecks develop, cargo backs up and remains stranded offshore on ships that overcrowd the coastline, creating additional safety and environmental risks. For example, clustering a large number of container ships waiting to be unloaded increases the risk of large anchors damaging our underwater infrastructure, such as pipelines. This unfortunately was likely the case with the recent Huntington Beach oil spill. Rather than responding to an oil spill, prevention is the best way to avoid environmental damage.
We believe this environmental and economic harm could have been avoided in the first place had this Congress and this administration remained focused on our core transportation network assets. Yet, this oil spill is emblematic of the harm your party’s policies are creating for America’s broader infrastructure network and the economy.
Moreover, despite calls from the private sector for help addressing growing supply chain issues, like expanding capacity, your administration has only further fueled the crisis by increasing energy costs, triggering significant inflation through reckless unchecked spending and attacking American businesses. Ironically, it is now the private sector that you are calling on to “step up” and fix the supply chain problems.
Mr. President, we think it’s time that you step up and reevaluate your administration’s priorities. While many in both business and labor have agreed to step up, House Republicans are calling on you, your administration, and your allies in Congress to do the same. Your administration must step up for American workers and businesses by halting your reckless tax and spending plan currently pending before Congress. We request that you stop the litany of harmful regulatory actions that are driving up energy costs and to stop disarming the same American businesses you are asking to bail you out with vaccine mandates and excessive benefits that are disincentivizing work. While you might not be able to save this holiday season, you can reverse course and prevent further economic damage.
Further consideration of your massive expansion of social spending, paid for by anticompetitive tax increases on small businesses and families, only stands to worsen the supply chain crisis. We urge you to call on your Congressional allies to halt discussions on a budget reconciliation bill that aims to reshape the social fabric of this country and instead work on real infrastructure solutions that focus on moving goods and people safely and efficiently throughout our great country and around the world.
— Rep. Russ Fulcher represents District 1; Rep. Mike Simpson represents District 2.