House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Of partisan fights and follies, or why Democrats should follow Manchin, not Sanders MORE (D-Calif.) said on Sunday that Republicans have decided to pick a fight with President Obama on infrastructure funding, a normally bipartisan issue.
“For most of the time, infrastructure has not been partisan,” Pelosi told former Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), host of MSNBC’s “Taking the Hill.”
“It was a place we could all come together,” she said.
“Under President Obama, Republicans have resisted his efforts to improve infrastructure,” she added. “This has been a challenge for a while.”
Pelosi also charged that upgrading America’s infrastructure would make it stronger economically and better protect its citizens.
“It is absolutely essential from a safety standpoint, from a commercial standpoint, from a quality-of-life standpoint,” she said.
“Some of our water systems are still brick and wood, they’re so ancient,” she said as an example.
Pelosi said the fatal derailment of Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 in Philadelphia on May 12 showed the consequences of congressional inaction on the matter.
“I hope this is a lesson learned that drives home the message that more work needs to be done,” she said. “Republicans have opposed increasing funding for Amtrak for a long time.”
Pelosi added that infrastructure technology improvements were too costly for the business world to tackle them without federal support.
“This is something the public sector has to do for the private sector,” she said.
The GOP-lead House voted to reduce Amtrak’s funding on May 13, one day after the accident along its Northeast Corridor.
Eight passengers were killed when Train 188 overturned, and at least 200 were injured.