Since WWII, northeastern Minnesota’s members of Congress have all served on some version of this committee. Reps. John Blatnik and Jim Oberstar both chaired the committee at different times and outgoing Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN8), a former airline pilot, also served on the committee from the other side of the aisle.
The committee is a key hub for appropriating funds for road projects, railways, air travel, and public works, the veritable lifeblood of northern Minnesota politics.
Nolan had sought this appointment and expressed his contentment in the following press release:
Nolan Secures Key Appointment to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
(WASHINGTON DC) . . . Minnesota’s Eighth District Congressman-elect Rick Nolan has been appointed to serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the body at the epicenter of efforts to spur job growth by revitalizing the nation’s roads, bridges, railroads and waterways.
Nolan, who made growing the economy through major reinvestments in transportation and infrastructure a focal point of his campaign, and requested the assignment during earlier meetings with House leadership, received the word from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Caucus.
“This is a major committee assignment – vital to generating good jobs and economic development here in the Eighth Congressional District,” Nolan said. “Building a strong surface and water transportation system creates good paying jobs, improves the quality of our lives, and is the economic backbone of a large district like the Eighth. Timber, taconite, tourism and manufacturing spread over a large geographic area all require strong transportation to be successful. The Eighth District is poised for great economic success going forward if we act now to lay the foundation. That’s what transportation and infrastructure are all about.”
“This committee assignment means we can move forward on Day One with efforts to secure federal support for the Northern Lights Express high speed rail project, fund Essential Air Service for our regional airports, repair and rebuild our network of Northern Minnesota roads and bridges, build capacity and traffic through the Port of Duluth, modernize the electrical grid system and make high speed broadband communications available to everyone, regardless of location.”
Announcing the initial Democratic committee appointments, House Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “Our Democratic Caucus is the most diverse in the history of Congress, and each of our Members will bring a unique perspective to the great challenges of our day – from job creation and economic growth to innovation, education reform, and clean energy development. On every committee, our colleagues will offer their experience, passion, and persistence to the task of effectively and faithfully serving the American people.”
Further committee assignments will be announced at a later date. Nolan officially takes office on January 3rd.