Mitch Daniels Criticizes Federal Transportation Policy Before U.S. Senate Committee

Jun 25, 2015

Daniels says he rarely speaks on political topics relating to his former job, but felt compelled to accept an invitation from Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) to attend Thursday's hearing.
Credit Senate Finance Committee

In 2005, Mitch Daniels brokered the Major Moves deal -- leasing the Indiana toll-road for $3.8 billion for 75 years.  He told a Senate committee looking for infrastructure improvement ideas Thursday the public-private partnership was a high point of his term.

"It was a great joy of public service to watch literally the dreams of decades, become real.  Project after project of people saying 'that’ll never happen' are in being in Indiana," Daniels said.

Thanks to Major Moves, more than a hundred new highway projects have been funded in Indiana during the last decade.  But Daniels says during that time, federal regulations that hamper the process of improving the nations infrastructure have only gotten worse. 

"It’s so ironic that this nation, which prides itself on being such an innovation leader is such a laggard in this area," he told the panel.

Spending existing dollars more effectively, cutting red tape and promoting private investment were topics of discussion during the hearing.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report ranks the U.S.’s quality of roads twentieth in the world.