Transportation committee hearing in OKC

Congressman James Lankford (R-OK), member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, held a field hearing Thursday at Oklahoma City Community College to discuss “Improving and Reforming our Nation’s Surface Transportation Programs.” Congressman Lankford was joined by Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL) and Congressman John Duncan (R-TN). Witnesses included Governor Mary Fallin; Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley; Neal McCaleb, Chairman, TRUST; Jim Duit, Duit Construction; Larry Lemon, Haskell Lemon Construction; and Jerry Hietpas, Action Safety.

In welcoming the Chairman, his fellow Congressman, and Committee staff, Congressman Lankford praised the host city and cited the momentum Oklahoma City is experiencing.  “Oklahoma City has seen a resurgence over the past fifteen years,” Lankford said.  “We’ve seen a revitalization of the city itself as well as of the state in many ways. I love telling the story and getting a chance to say ‘Come see what’s going on in Oklahoma City and the resurgence we’re experiencing here.’”

In reference to the transportation infrastructure in Oklahoma and the nation, Lankford said, “Oklahoma is in the crossroads of our nation, and most goods pass through our great state.

“Today’s hearing showed that the solutions to improving our state’s highways and roads lies not in Washington, but right here in Oklahoma. We don’t need the federal government taking an even larger role by dictating to the states how they should build their highways and roads. We have plenty of highly skilled and capable officials and workers right here that know the best way forward. The best ideas come from individuals who see and breathe the issues not just from Washington.”

Today’s witnesses offered many significant insights into our nation’s transportation challenges, including:

“Building our roads and bridges is essential to the economic wellbeing of our nation and it represents an important investment in the future of our country. There is a bipartisan interest in insuring that goods can be moved quickly and efficiently across state lines and throughout our country on safe roads and bridges with a minimum of congestion," said Governor Fallin.

Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley said, “Knowing we cannot increase the budget, we have to take bureaucracy out of the way. Government can do great things if government gets out of the way.”

“I thank all of today’s witnesses for offering their time and their insight to this hearing and I thank Chairman Mica for including Oklahoma City on his hearing schedule,” said Congressman Lankford. “I think Oklahomans offered valuable insight into the challenges facing those charged with keeping America moving.”