Gottheimer Calls for Congress to Focus on Finding Supply Chain Solutions

Gottheimer and Sweeney

Today, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-5) called for additional action on legislation that would ease supply chain bottlenecks and help lower costs for North Jersey families and small businesses, in a letter to House leadership today.

“It is imperative Congress acts to address the needs of the nation through additional action to specifically address the supply chain and resulting higher prices experienced by families across the country,” the Members wrote in a letter to House leadership. “We respectfully ask that the House swiftly considers the numerous bills written by our colleagues that will support domestic manufacturing and provide additional solutions to our supply chain crisis.”

As the holiday season approaches, the letter urges House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to turn the House’s attention to passing additional legislation that will provide solutions to supply chain disruptions and complement the investments in infrastructure made in the bills already passed by their chamber.

“We are pleased that the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has been signed into law by President Biden and encouraged by the continued work on the Build Back Better Act. These are key steps in addressing these supply chain problems and lowering costs for people, but Congress must do more,” the Members wrote.

The letter was signed by Gottheimer, as well as Reps. Cindy Axne (IA-03), Susie Lee (NV-03), and Susan Wild (PA-07), Carolyn Bordeaux (GA-07), Angie Craig (MN-02), Ed Case (HI-01), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), John Garamendi (CA-03), Josh Harder (CA-10), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Kathy Manning (NC-06), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Scott Peters (CA-52), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Bradley Schneider (IL-10), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), and Haley Stevens (MI-11).

Earlier this fall, Gottheimer convened the Port Authority of NY and NJ, the Federal Maritime Commission, and shipping stakeholders at the Port in Newark, and announced steps to combat supply chain issues, including critical congressional oversight, dedicated federal action from the Federal Maritime Commission and relevant authorities to investigate the practices of major ocean carriers for any collusion or anti-competitive practices, modernization of how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tracks and clears ship traffic, and passing key bipartisan ocean shipping reform legislation — the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021.

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

December 2, 2021

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House

United States Capitol

Washington D.C., 20515

The Honorable Steny Hoyer

House Majority Leader

United States Capitol

Washington D.C. 20515

Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer,

We are concerned about the ongoing disruptions to our nation’s supply chain, which are causing delays and increasing inflation for our constituents. We are pleased that the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has been signed into law by President Biden and encouraged by the continued work on the Build Back Better Act. These are key steps in addressing these supply chain problems and lowering costs for people, but Congress must do more. We urge additional action by the House of Representatives to further address the disruptions and higher costs our constituents are experiencing.

The COVID-19 pandemic put unprecedented strain on our already crumbling infrastructure and changed consumer habits leading to severe transportation bottlenecks and backlogs at our nation’s ports and rail yards. Online shopping, for example, increased 34% from 2019 to 2020, and that trend has continued this year. Decades of underinvestment in our infrastructure have diminished capacity and resiliency in our supply chain. Without investments, modernization, and reform, our transportation system will struggle to deal with the increased volume of goods moving through our ports. The lack of domestic capacity, industry consolidation, and the United States’ longstanding trade imbalance has further exacerbated the effects of the pandemic. These issues have spiked shipping costs, with the cost of shipping a container between China and North America up 500% from pre-pandemic, created shortages and delays in numerous industries, significantly contributed to inflation, and have caused uncertainty for American consumers and exporters across our country. These costs of underinvestment are currently being felt by our constituents, and this Congress must take this issue seriously and act. While these price increases should slow and return to normal as these bottlenecks clear and the pandemic subsides, we must speed that process up while establishing supply chain structure for our future.

While the bipartisan infrastructure deal is a historic and long overdue investment in our infrastructure and, along with the Build Back Better Act, will expand capacity and ease inflation concerns, many of our House colleagues have proposed additional legislation to address specific issues affecting our ports, trucking, ocean shipping, and domestic manufacturing. These bills will provide additional relief and investment in targeted areas, ensuring we recover from these disruptions as quickly as possible and have the capacity to grow our economy. Additionally, increased investments in domestic manufacturing will support good paying jobs here in the United States and further reduce international supply chain pressures.

As our constituents gather for the holiday season, it is imperative Congress acts to address the needs of the nation through additional action to specifically address the supply chain and resulting higher prices experienced by families across the country. We respectfully ask that the House swiftly considers the numerous bills written by our House colleagues that will support domestic manufacturing, agricultural exports, and provide additional solutions to our supply chain crisis.

Thank you for your attention to this letter, and we stand ready to continue to work with you on this critical issue.

Sincerely,

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

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