WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement after Congressional Republicans brought another short term extension to fund transportation and infrastructure and failed to reauthorize the Import-Export Bank.
“It is past time for Congressional Republicans to put our economy first by passing a long term transportation bill that provides the robust funding needed to sustain job growth and by reauthorizing the Import-Export Bank,” Rep. Grijalva said. “Our construction industry cannot function under the constant threat of their funding running dry, and the American people deserve better than to have their roads and bridges crumble beneath them. Moreover, American businesses – especially in border states like Arizona – benefit greatly from the Ex-Im Bank, creating jobs and promoting economic opportunity at no cost to American taxpayers.
“Infrastructure and transportation investments are among the most simulative for the U.S. economy, providing tens of thousands of jobs in Arizona alone. But instead of acting responsibly, the GOP once again brought us to the brink of disaster, forcing us to accept another short term patch just days before funding expires. Adding insult to injury, they continue to demand cobbled-together pay-fors that harm low income families instead of lifting the freeze on the gas tax, which is already the dedicated funding source for transportation and infrastructure.
“Our cities, towns and counties in Arizona need an active partnership with the federal government. To expect local communities to bear the full financial burden of our decaying infrastructure and the demands of the future for alternative and public transit is unfair and shortsighted. I voted for the GOP’s bill to protect the nearly 700,000 jobs at risk – not to condone their mishandling of this critical issue. It is the height of irresponsibility in governance to threaten jobs, businesses and public safety in one fell swoop. The American people deserve much better.”