Cartwright invites Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau's Chris Barrett to State of the Union

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, an 8th District Democrat, confirmed he will be taking Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau CEO and President Chris Barrett to the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

According to a release from Cartwright's office, this year's State of the Union will focus on legislative achievements Congress has delivered on over the past two years, including 2021's bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which allotted $66 billion to reestablish America’s rail lines.

Barrett has been a noted advocate for Cartwright's efforts to restore passenger rail service between New York City and Scranton, which could provide a boom for the tourism and hospitality industry in the Poconos and other areas of northeastern Pennsylvania.

The PMVB CEO and president has regularly promoted the Poconos as a "four-season destination" for vacationers and day-trippers alike, highlighting natural elements including parks, hiking trails, and mountains, along with attractions like resorts and shopping.

A 2023 release from PMVB notes the Poconos' tourism industry encompasses 35,201 jobs, resulting in $981.4 million in labor income, $520 million taxes, and $282 million in state and local taxes.

Coming this Tuesday:President Biden will deliver his State of the Union address on Feb. 7

Amtrak’s analysis of the proposed corridor estimates 425,000 riders a year and $87 million injected into the economy yearly.

“The Pocono Mountains is a top destination hosting nearly 30 million guests each year. The return of passenger rail service between NYC and NEPA would allow even more visitors to experience and enjoy our region without the hassle of driving, spurring enormous economic benefits,” Barrett said. “It is an honor and privilege to be part of this monumental occasion, at a monumental time in the proposal to reinstate passenger rail service. A debt of gratitude is owed to Congressman Cartwright for his tireless, ongoing efforts in supporting bringing passenger rail back to NEPA.”

Related:Cartwright talks Amtrak, bipartisanship, priorities as Congress begins new term

Cartwright noted Barrett as "an important partner and tireless advocate to the restoration of rail services to our region."

“Leaders like Chris exemplify the progress we are making thanks to historic investments in American infrastructure during the last Congress. It is my distinct pleasure to have him as my guest,” Cartwright said.

The 2023 State of the Union address will be delivered by President Joe Biden at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7 in the Chamber of the United States House of Representatives.

This article originally appeared on Pocono Record: Rep. Cartwright invites PMVB's Chris Barrett to State of the Union