Lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to speed up infrastructure permitting

Lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to speed up infrastructure permitting
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A pair of lawmakers has introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at accelerating the permitting process for infrastructure projects.

Sens. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon Donnelly70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Ginsburg health scare raises prospect of election year Supreme Court battle Watchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 MORE (D-Ind.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way GOP senators offering bill to cement business provision in Trump tax law Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law MORE (R-Ohio) on Wednesday unveiled a bill that would allow railroads and public utilities the permanent ability to fund permitting reviews for some projects in an effort to fast-track the process.

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“By making these cost-sharing provisions permanent, we will encourage more project sponsors and the Army Corps of Engineers to use this option and make the permitting process run more efficiently,” Portman said in a statement.

While these companies can legally contribute funds to help speed up the permitting process with the Army Corps of Engineers, their authorization to do so ends in 2024.

“This legislation continues an available option for speeding up infrastructure permitting and provides the certainty that both private companies and the Army Corps of Engineers need to quickly review projects,” Donnelly said of the bill he introduced with Portman. “I’m proud to work with Sen. Portman to keep red tape delays out of the way of these needed infrastructure projects.”

The bill comes as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE’s infrastructure proposal appears to have hit a wall in Congress, as lawmakers and the administration have yet to provide a revenue stream for the rebuilding blueprint.

The president has emphasized the need to streamline the permitting process in any infrastructure plan and the administration’s framework seeks to reduce the process down to two years.