U.S. House panel to hold hearing on supply chain, infrastructure

Jan 26, 2023
MTA's East Side Access for the Long Island Railroad connection to Grand Central Terminal nears completion in New York

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A U.S. House committee said Thursday it will hold a hearing next Wednesday on supply chain and transportation infrastructure issues that will feature trucking, railroad and union groups.

The Republican-led U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing will include the heads of the American Trucking Associations and the Association of American Railroads.

Congress in November voted to block a potentially crippling rail strike and imposed a tentative contract deal for 115,000 workers reached in September. Some unions had voted against the deal over its lack of paid sick leave.

A strike could have halted shipments of food, fuel and medicine, stranded commuters and caused dramatic harm to the U.S. economy just before the holiday season.

Also expected to testify is an official representing the Associated General Contractors of America and Greg Regan, who heads the Transportation Trades Department for the AFL-CIO union federation.

Congress in November 2021 passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill to refurbish roads, bridges and airports and reduce emissions.

There are still lingering supply chain issues stemming from a surge in demand and COVID-19 affecting facets of the economy, including auto and airplane production, but massive backups at ports in 2021 have subsided. Supply chain pressures were a key factor in boosting U.S. inflation to 40-year highs.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said last month the United States had made huge progress in supply chain issues after people wondered in 2021 whether they would get basic goods and Christmas presents on time.

(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul and Jonathan Oatis)