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Biden accused of keeping GOP lawmakers in the dark about $1.2T being spent on infrastructure

House Republicans are demanding transparency from the Biden administration about how it’s spending greater than $1.2 trillion in infrastructure funding that Congress authorized final yr.

Top GOP lawmakers on the House Transporation and Infrastructure Committee stated extra readability is required given the measurement of the public works bundle and the “byzantine” bureaucracies chargeable for its implementation. The Biden administration’s resolution to nominate Mitch Landrieu as its unelected, unconfirmed “infrastructure czar” has accomplished little to allay considerations, they stated.

Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri, the high Republican on the committee, stated that Mr. Landrieu has but to transient members of Congress about his function, regardless of being on the job for almost three months. 

In a letter despatched to the White House on Wednesday, Mr. Graves known as on Mr. Landrieu to seem earlier than the committee and element the course of being used to disburse the cash.

“While I am aware that your task force has engaged in various media events and outreach to governors and mayors, you have yet to fully engage all relevant Members of Congress on these matters,” Mr. Graves wrote.

The White House didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Mr. Landrieu, a Democrat and former mayor of New Orleans, was tapped as the White House’s “infrastructure czar” in November 2021. The appointment got here shortly after Congress handed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure invoice, which is the largest funding ever made in fixing the nation’s roads and bridges.

Since taking on the function, Mr. Landrieu has prioritized constructing relationships with state and native leaders. Earlier this month, he informed reporters throughout a White House press convention that his staff had already begun discussions with all 50 state governors about learn how to spend the taxpayer {dollars}.

“The fact of the matter is that most of the building will actually be done by states, by the cities, by the counties, by the tribal leaders,” Mr. Landrieu stated. “That’s why our team, and me personally, have been reaching out — extensive outreach to state and local officials.”

Congressional Republicans stated the outreach didn’t prolong to them. Apart from not being briefed by Mr. Landrieu, GOP lawmakers stated there was little effort to tell them as as to if infrastructure implementation deadlines are being met.

Mr. Graves says that being saved in the dark by the administration is problematic given the quantity of taxpayer cash at stake.

“Communication is critical to effective implementation of [the infrastructure package] and key members on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure have not received information on any of [your] efforts,” Mr. Graves wrote. “This will be essential to ensuring the responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars and protecting this substantial funding increase from waste, fraud, and abuse.” 

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