The federal government has a constitutional role in funding interstate commerce. I understand the need to give our infrastructure the proper attention and restore highways and bridges in need of repair.
One of the core functions of each state, and the Federal Government, is creating the infrastructure necessary to conduct commerce, trade and allow general transportation. I strongly support maintaining, modernizing and expanding America’s transportation system and feel that work is critical to our country’s long-term productivity and economic competitiveness,
In Arizona, particularly in the rural communities of the fourth district, our highways, roads, bridges, and railroad are in particular need of attention. Our state is the second fastest growing state in the nation. Its population has nearly quadrupled since 1970. Pinal County alone grew over 109% over the past ten years. This population growth has posed additional strains on our state’s transportation infrastructure system.
In addition, our state’s economy relies heavily on tourism. Travelers spend $19.3 billion in our state, which equates to almost $53 million pumped directly into our economy every day. The Grand Canyon National Park alone hosts 700,000 park visitors each year, generating $687 million annually in direct and indirect revenues. Without safe and reliable transportation infrastructure in our state and throughout, our robust tourism economy would take a major hit.
Throughout my time in Congress, I have been a strong supporter of Arizona transportation initiatives. I have worked with local cities, towns, counties, and tribal governments to advocate on behalf of rural Arizona projects. I have fought to ensure federal transportation programs give rural proposals a fair shot in the competitive process. I was instrumental in the authorization of the future I-11 corridor project, the critical first step of the major economic development project that will connect Phoenix and Las Vegas, the two largest cities in the nation not linked by an interstate highway. And, I have pursued many initiatives to remove bureaucratic red tape that wastes scant transportation dollars and prohibits some projects from even getting off the ground.
I know we can address our pressing transportation needs without borrowing billions more and sending our country further into debt. I will continue to advocate for our communities while fighting for fiscally sustainable transportation solutions in 113th Congress.