In her first meeting on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, freshman U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., called for more investments in South Florida.

Noting that she represents the Keys, Mucarsel-Powell said the area is seeing major problems in terms of its infrastructure.

“My community in the Keys has really seen the cost of not investing in our infrastructure,” said Mucarsel-Powell in the committee hearing on Thursday. “Our local governments have fronted significant funds towards the implementation of the Florida Keys Water Quality Improvement Program. As a result, Keys residents have footed a majority of the bill for the water treatment system in the region.”

At the meeting, Mucarsel-Powell also pointed to sewage issues impacting her district.

“We also have issues of leaky septic tanks in the southern part of Miami-Dade County, and we have seen the consequences of having an insufficient system. It is unacceptable that in our country and South Florida only half of the septic tanks function during parts of the year,” she said.

Mucarsel-Powell defeated U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., in November. Representing a swing district, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is planning on making Mucarsel-Powell a top target in 2020.


Kevin Derby can be reached at

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