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Sen. Booker: Crumbling Infrastructure Is a Public Safety Problem

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., says the United States needs to spend more on roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure.

Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey said Sunday that the United States has "fallen way out of pace" on infrastructure spending, a topic of discussion in the aftermath of the Amtrak train derailment outside Philadelphia Tuesday night

“As a nation, we have fallen way out of pace with where we were in previous years in terms of overall investment,” Booker said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Booker sits on the Senate committee with oversight over transportation, commerce and science issues.

Booker asserted that nations in Europe and Asia spend a larger percentage of their gross domestic product – the total value of the goods and services produced and provided by a nation during one year – on infrastructure spending than the U.S. He said the lack of spending on improving the nation’s infrastructure “is costing us lives in America.”

“We know, unequivocally, our safety as a nation, our air traffic, our aviation infrastructure, our rail infrastructure, our roads and bridges, is inadequate. We should be investing more. That's unequivocal, unassailable,” the New Jersey Democrat said. “For us not to do that in a bipartisan fashion is unacceptable to me. And it’s what we should be working on.”

Before winning election to the Senate in 2013, Booker served as mayor of Newark for two terms. Newark is one of numerous stops on Amtrak’s Northeast Regional route, the same route taken by the train that derailed outside Philadelphia on Tuesday.

— Daniel Cooney