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Marsha Blackburn, Committee Members Request Briefing From Joe Biden Administration On Supply Chain Crisis

U.S. SenateWashington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) along with Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.)  sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting officials from the administration, including members of the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, come before the Commerce Committee for a closed briefing to discuss the challenges and opportunities currently facing our transportation supply chain.

“The ongoing freight transportation congestion impacts nearly every aspect of our economy and is felt by all Americans.  Since last summer, U.S. manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and workers have experienced enormous freight and supply chain congestion. These issues are further exacerbated by the upcoming holiday season, as demand for goods increases,” the Senators wrote. “We have all seen the images of cargo vessels lined up for miles off the West Coast waiting to dock. This committee would benefit from the opportunity to learn how your administration is addressing the ongoing crisis and discuss potential solutions.”

Republican members on the committee have been actively working to address the current challenges facing the supply chain. In November, Senators Blackburn, Wicker, Moran, Sullivan, Young, Capito, and John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced the Facilitating Relief for Efficient Intermodal Gateways to Handle Transportation (FREIGHT) Act. The bill would take important steps to address the ongoing freight challenges while also putting in place policies to support the transportation network in the long term.

Blackburn also introduced the Improving Memphis’ Supply Chain Act, which builds on the work of the Memphis Supply Chain Innovation team led by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). The Improving Memphis’ Supply Chain Act would incentivize private implementation of a self-sustaining gray interoperable chassis pool that could provide operational benefits to shippers, truckers, and railroaders.

Read the full letter below.

Dear Mr. President,

As members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, we request officials from your administration, including members of the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, to come before the Committee for a closed briefing to discuss the challenges and opportunities currently facing our transportation supply chain. 

The ongoing freight transportation congestion impacts nearly every aspect of our economy and is felt by all Americans.  Since last summer, U.S. manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and workers have experienced enormous freight and supply chain congestion.  These issues are further exacerbated by the upcoming holiday season, as demand for goods increases. 

We have heard from many stakeholders about the complexity of moving such a vast amount of cargo as well as the associated delays and increased costs in freight transportation.  We have all seen the images of cargo vessels lined up for miles off the West Coast waiting to dock.  This Committee would benefit from the opportunity to learn how your administration is addressing the ongoing crisis and discuss potential solutions.


There are steps that can be taken within both the government and private sector to support the movement of goods in the near term.  We recognize that implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure bill will provide long-term investments in our nation’s roads, bridges, ports, railroads, and other physical infrastructure, as well as workforce programs to help address the truck driver shortage.  Nevertheless, we are interested in discussing the actions the administration is taking in the short-term to address supply chain congestion.

We look forward to a productive dialogue with you on how we can address the unprecedented levels of freight congestion.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

 

Sincerely,

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