Rep Gibbs Praises White House Infrastructure Plan
WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Bob Gibbs released the following statement in response to the publication of the White House’s Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America:
“The President’s outline on rebuilding American infrastructure is a bold vision that focuses federal dollars and leverages state, local, and private investment to strengthen every aspect of our nation’s transportation and infrastructure network. The President understands infrastructure extends far beyond roads and bridges. Increasing access to rural broadband, improving water infrastructure and public water utilities are critical components to rebuilding the backbone of the American economy. The proposal also expands eligibility for and removes barriers to accessing WIFIA, a pilot program I created, giving municipalities additional resources to address aging or failing water systems.
“I am particularly pleased with the President’s proposals on reforming the way the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conduct review and approval of various permits under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Duplicative and unnecessary permitting requirements slow down project approval and end up costing more as water systems age and decay. Streamlining those permitting processes is a win for the American taxpayer.
“Additionally, I applaud the President’s efforts to rein in the EPA by reforming CWA’s Section 404 permitting. This section badly needs reformed, as we have seen abuses by the EPA by preemptively and retroactively vetoing Section 404 permits. The President’s proposal includes elements similar to legislation I have introduced to curtail the EPA’s ability to circumvent the permitting process. By reforming Section 404 permitting, the private sector can have confidence that if they follow the law and are within the guidelines of their permit, the EPA cannot revoke the permit.
“I look forward to working with the White House and my colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to ensure the American people can utilize a modern, effective, and efficient national transportation, water, and energy network.”
Text of the plan can be found here.