On April 6, 2023, Fred Wagner was quoted in Logistics Management regarding the implementation and oversight of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
According to the article, the Transportation& Infrastructure Committee recently held a hearing focused on oversight of the IIJA and the impact of inflation upping the costs of needed materials for infrastructure projects related to the legislation, as well as concerns about discretionary grant programs being an effective tool for administering federal funds.
“The IIJA is now in a major transition phase, where the initial grants are going out the door, applications are being processed,” said Wagner. “Between now and especially the election, it is going to be imperative for the administration to make sure things are being approved and built and voters can see the fruits of this bill,” he said. “That is imperative. If they don’t see that—and there are still promises unchecked—and people don’t see the benefits of all this spending, that is where the oversight is really going to hit home.”
Wagner added that every month that goes by this year into next year, will see that pressure get higher and higher.
“The president ran on it in the mid-terms, i.e., ‘look at what we passed,’” he said. “That was a theme. But you cannot run on that anymore the next time around. It has to be ‘OK, this is what we have done,’ and there will have to be some ribbon-cutting and demonstration of these projects getting off the ground….and that the money is being spent appropriately with no waste, fraud, or abuse. The recent hearing is a preview of what is to come. And there are going to be many more like it between now and this time next year.”
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