Gibbs: “Transportation Bill May Be the Most Significant Jobs Legislation this Congress Will Consider”

January 31, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Gibbs, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, released the following statement following the introduction of The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act, a House initiative to improve our nation’s infrastructure, reauthorize our transportation programs for five years, and remove barriers to domestic energy production:

“The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act may be the most significant jobs legislation this Congress will consider.  Regulatory overreach and redundant spending programs are crippling our economy, stifling job creation, and wasting our limited federal resources.  This critical initiative will improve our nation’s infrastructure, reform transportation programs, cut through bureaucratic red tape, strengthen the economy, and create jobs for Americans. 

“Solid infrastructure is critical to states like Ohio and I am glad that we have a long-term plan to provide at least 5 years of stability so states can undertake major infrastructure projects as opposed to the usual Washington patchwork budgets that increase economic uncertainty.   Furthermore, while the previous surface transportation law contained over 6,300 earmarks, this one contains no earmarks

“This long-term transportation reauthorization promotes accountability and will allocate $260 Billion over 5 years,  reform and streamline transportation programs, cut red tape in the project approval process, increase states’ flexibility to fund their most critical needs, and encourage private sector participation in financing and building projects.”

More Flexibility to States

The bill would remove federal requirements that currently force states to spend highway money on non-highway activities, helping to ensure that our nation’s highways and bridges are repaired and properly maintained and that federal dollars are spent on our most critical infrastructure needs.

Streamlining Project Delivery

The bill would speed up bureaucratic approvals and streamline the project delivery process, the real hurdles delaying improvements to highways, bridges, and other project, with reforms like concurrent review that will cut the project review and the permitting process in half.

Encouraging Domestic Energy Production

By removing barriers to new energy production, this fiscally responsible proposal will create a new, sustainable revenue stream for infrastructure improvements, lower energy costs, and create infrastructure and energy sector jobs across the country.