| Representative Perry proudly serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Homeland Security Committee, and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Below is additional information about each of his committee and subcommittee assignments. To visit the websites for Representative Perry's committee and subcommittee assignments, please click on the links provided below.
Transportation and Infrastructure:
Since the first days of our nation, when the Constitution provided the Congress with the power to establish post roads and regulate commerce among the states, the federal government has played a significant role in providing for our country’s transportation and infrastructure improvements. Our roads, bridges, railways, waterways and runways have all made it possible for what was initially a collection of relatively independent states to truly become one nation, intimately connected over millions of square miles.
Infrastructure has always been the backbone of the United States economy. Our diverse and distant communities are tied together, and commerce thrives, because the American people have always understood the need for a cohesive, unifying transportation network.
Without safe and efficient transportation and infrastructure, the United States is “United” only in the abstract: a people with shared freedoms, ideals and values, but separated by our geography, as we were before the Erie Canal, the Transcontinental Railroad, and the Interstate Highway System.
Over the years, various committees of the House of Representatives have been charged with oversight of some form of public works or transportation. Today, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure carries on the important work of predecessors, such as the Roads and Canals Committee (established in 1831), the Public Buildings and Grounds Committee (established in 1837), the Rivers and Harbors Committee (established in 1883), and others.
The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation: aviation, maritime and waterborne transportation, highways, bridges, mass transit, and railroads. The Committee also has jurisdiction over other aspects of our national infrastructure, such as clean water and waste water management, the transport of resources by pipeline, flood damage reduction, the management of federally owned real estate and public buildings, the development of economically depressed rural and urban areas, disaster preparedness and response, and hazardous materials transportation.
The Committee’s broad oversight portfolio includes many federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, the U.S. Coast Guard, Amtrak, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the General Services Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, and others.
Throughout the United States, there are more than four million miles of public roads, 19,700 civil airports, and over 138,000 miles of freight rail. Amtrak maintains billions of dollars in infrastructure assets, and 726 public transit agencies receive federal assistance. The General Services Administration owns or leases 9,600 assets and maintains an inventory of more than 362 million square feet of space. There are approximately 1,700 miles of levees, 650 dams and 383 major lakes and reservoirs, 12,000 miles of commercial inland channels, and 75 hydropower generating facilities owned by the federal government. The United States also operates and maintains waterways leading to 926 coastal, Great Lakes, and inland harbors and 241 individual lock chambers at 195 sites nationwide.
This vast and critical infrastructure impacts the lives of every one of us on a daily basis and is essential to maintaining our economic vitality and identity as the United States of America.
The Committee on Homeland Security was established in 2002 to provide Congressional oversight for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and better protect the American people against a possible terrorist attack. Chairman Michael McCaul joined the Committee in 2005 as Chairman of the Investigations Subcommittee, when the House of Representatives granted the Committee on Homeland Security permanent status.
Committee Republicans passed several landmark pieces of bipartisan homeland security legislation, including the SAFE Port Act, Chemical Plant Security legislation, and FEMA reform. A 2006 investigation by McCaul uncovered more than $1 billion in waste, fraud and abuse in FEMA’s response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The Committee was chartered to hold hearings and craft legislation for issues specific to homeland security. The Committee meets in historic Room 311 in the Cannon House Office Building, which houses the notable Peace painting (Walter Lofthouse Dean, 1893).
The Foreign Affairs Committee is responsible for oversight and legislation relating to:
- foreign assistance (including development assistance, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Millennium Challenge Account, HIV/AIDS in foreign countries, security assistance, and Public Law 480 programs abroad);
- the Peace Corps;
- national security developments affecting foreign policy;
- strategic planning and agreements;
- war powers, treaties, executive agreements, and the deployment and use of United States Armed Forces;
- peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and enforcement of United Nations or other international sanctions;
- arms control and disarmament issues;
- the United States Agency for International Development;
- activities and policies of the State, Commerce, and Defense Departments related to the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act;
- international law;
- promotion of democracy;
- international law enforcement issues, including narcotics control programs and activities;
- Broadcasting Board of Governors;
- embassy security;
- international broadcasting;
- public diplomacy, including international communication, information policy, international education, and cultural programs.
The Committee also has jurisdiction over legislation with respect to the administration of the Export Administration Act, including the export and licensing of dual-use equipment and technology and other matters related to international economic policy and trade not otherwise assigned to a subcommittee and with respect to the United Nations, its affiliated agencies and other international organizations, including assessed and voluntary contributions to such organizations. The Committee may conduct oversight with respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the Committee as defined in the Rules of the House of Representatives.