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Graves Statement from Hearing on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Transportation Workers

Opening remarks, as prepared, of Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) from today’s hearing entitled, “On the Front Lines: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Transportation Workers”:

Thank you, Chairman DeFazio.  First, I appreciate your willingness to conduct today’s event as a hybrid proceeding.  I think it is important to allow any Member who wants to participate in person the option to do so and I hope we can continue to do that for any official Committee activities.

It’s important to understand how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted frontline transportation workers so we can determine a path to a safe recovery.

The pandemic has ravaged our country, with entire sectors of our economy coming to a screeching halt.  I’m sure we all hope last week’s better-than-expected jobs report is the beginning of recovery, but that remains to be seen.

Throughout this pandemic, many workers have continued to show up and put in a hard day’s work.  Just like the overall economy, different sectors of the transportation economy have been impacted in different ways by the coronavirus, but many of the essential workers in this sector are still doing their jobs.

Moving forward to recovery, we must make smart, safe, and calculated decisions to get our workforce going and businesses hiring again.  This will affect our ability to restart and reconnect supply chains that are key to economic recovery.

As Americans get back to traveling, they need safe and effective measures to give them the confidence needed to return.  But we also must ensure that the workers providing these transportation services are safe.

I’m glad we have the opportunity today to hear directly from frontline workers about their experiences during the pandemic.  Thank you for participating today, but more importantly, thank you for keeping our country moving even in these difficult times.

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