Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) held a press conference on Thursday with Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL), Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA), Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA) to discuss the Republicans’ proposed American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act.
Details on the legislation were scarce other than a statement that energy revenues would be used to repair infrastructure and that House leadership hopes to act on the legislation before the end of the calendar year. The five year bill is expected to contain the text of a surface transportation bill, as well as several energy production measures. Chairman Mica stated that a markup could take place in the upcoming weeks and that the bill would consolidate transportation programs, give states more flexibility, increase opportunities to leverage private investment, and streamline project delivery. Those present at the press conference called the bill a unique solution to the ever growing energy and infrastructure deficits facing the nation, which would be a win for each sector, as well as job creation.
Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Highways and Transit Subcommittee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) held a separate press conference later on in the day. Rahall declared that the proposal to link expanded energy exploration with infrastructure investments suggests that Republicans are not serious about creating jobs, because they know the bill will not attract Democratic support.
ASCE applauds congressional leadership for making infrastructure a priority and looks forward to seeing more details of the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. ASCE is pleased to see that infrastructure investment, which the organization has long been an advocate for, is gaining the attention of the leadership of both parties. ASCE supports the policy reforms that appear to be included in the energy and infrastructure proposal, such as expedited project delivery and program consolidation. We will keep all Key Contacts up to date as more developments emerge.
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