Rep. Mullin Hosts House Transportation Chair in MuskogeeWed, 08 Oct 2014 16:01:54 CDT
Congressman Markwayne Mullin hosted the head of the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week in Muskogee. On Tuesday, Chairman and Congressman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania came to Oklahoma to tour the Port of Muskogee and meet with port and transportation leaders on state and federal partnerships. Shuster said he came to Oklahoma to learn more about the inland port system.
"I know its extremely important for industry around here to be able to ship by water and if we don't make the investments in our infrastructure on the river, its costs us in jobs, its going to cost our economy," Shuster said.
At the event, Oklahoma Farm Bureau's Sam Knipp interviewed both Congressmen Shuster and Mullin. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for the full interview.
Shuster came to see the Port of Muskogee at the request of Congressman Mullin. He said seeing the port first hand was important, so he can reiterate to Congress the importance of maintaining the nation's infrastructure and the likely economic impact if the port were to close down for 50 to 100 days due to failure of a lock.
"Business won't be doing business here any more," Shuster said. "And that's just not here in the Port of Muskogee, that's all across the country on this inland waterway system. So being here firsthand with Markwayne Mullin, listening to folks here at Muskogee, the stake holders, that's extremely important for us to go back to Washington and tell our colleagues that don't live on water system, but benefit by it because their products, whether its farmers in the midwest and people in New York City that get food that's grown in the midwest, this inland waterway system is extremely important."
Mullin, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, also hosted Shuster in Oklahoma in April 2013, when the committee was drafting the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The bill included provisions specifically addressing concerns with the Oklahoma ports along the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS). WRRDA was signed into law in June. Mullin said the nation's infrastructure is one area Congress is working together.
"That's good for the country," Mullin said. "We not representing just Republican party here or the Democratic party, our infrastructure is something we all use, regardless of party."
Shuster said looking ahead the House will be working on another water resources bill in the next Congress.
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