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Guest on The Infra Blog: Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV 1st District)

Posted by Steve Anderson on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Congresswoman Dina Titus on The Infra Blog

Alice Costandina Titus, better known to her Nevada constituents as Dina, grew up in Georgia, has lived in Nevada for over 35 years, and proudly represents Nevada’s First District in the U.S. Congress.

Congresswoman Dina Titus has built a strong record of achievement as both an educator and a public servant. As a professor, Dr. Titus taught American and Nevada government classes from 1979 through June 2011 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she has professor emeritus status. A noted non-fiction writer, she is internationally known for her expertise in the history and policies related to nuclear power, weaponry, and waste as well as for her knowledge of the popular lore of “Atomic Culture.”

Currently in her 4th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Dina is a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and its Aviation, Highways and Transit, and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittees.  She also serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, and Asia and the Pacific Subcommittees.  She is also a member of the Senior Whip Team and the Steering and Policy Committee for the minority and serves on a number of caucuses, including the USO Caucus, the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, the Hellenic Caucus, and as Co-Chair of the I-11 Caucus, the Democratic Chair of the House Travel and Tourism Caucus, and the co-chair of the House RV Caucus.

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan: Smoke and Mirrors
Originally when he was talking about infrastructure, people got pretty excited because some of us had wanted more infrastructure spending way back to get us out of the recession and thought, “Well, this would be an opportunity to be bipartisan.” But the more we heard and the more that they explained it wasn’t really going to be an investment—it was kind of smoke and mirrors, it was bonding, it was public-private partnerships—the more we realized that it’s not amounting to much.


Privatization Just Doesn’t Work
These public-private partnerships that they tout really don’t work. We tried that in downtown Las Vegas to do the new Project Neon, and just couldn’t generate enough revenue from the private sector, so we know that is not the “silver bullet.” I’m opposed to privatizing government services, because then the priority shifts from service to profit, and that never works. If you talk about something like air traffic control, that’s especially egregious because we have the safest system there is; we’re going to now undermine that.


Not the Year for Infrastructure
I’m not very optimistic; certainly not in this year. You’ve got the healthcare problem to resolve, you’ve got tax questions that they want to address, you’ve got all the foreign policy issues and all of that is overlaid by what’s occupying everybody’s time which are hearings with Sessions and Comey and McManus and you name it. So I’m not too optimistic this is going to move forward in any meaningful way.


Pushing for Infrastructure Engagement
Let’s remember Eisenhower and the freeway system, what a difference that made, and then the investment in the railroads before that. It is what is good for quality of life as well as good for business. One of the good things that’s happening with the new generation: a lot of them don’t have cars, so they want to use mass transit, or they want to ride their bicycle, or there’s more pedestrian traffic now. At least maybe they’re realizing that infrastructure affects them directly, whereas in the past it was something that you just took for granted.

 

Download full transcript (PDF): Congresswoman Dina Titus on The Infra Blog

 

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