Ribble Amendment Passes House, Helps WI Infrastructure

Apr 18, 2012 Issues: Budget, Transportation

Washington, D.C. – Representative Reid Ribble (WI-08) spoke on the House Floor today for his amendment that was adopted by a bipartisan vote of 255 to 165 and included in H.R. 4348, The Surface Transportation Reauthorization of 2012, which also passed the House and now moves onto the Senate. Congressman Ribble’s amendment will help cut redundant permitting requirements that slow infrastructure projects from moving forward.  It is widely anticipated that the House will now go to conference with the Senate to resolve differences on a longer-term transportation bill.

“I’m pleased that this extension has passed because it paves the way for a final resolution on this process,” said Ribble. “While budgets have been tightened, I will continue to fight for Wisconsin in the weeks and months ahead to ensure that our state receives its fair share of overall highway and transit funding.”

Watch Rep. Ribble’s floor remarks.

Excerpt from speech:

“Today, the average lifespan of a construction project is 15 years, but only five of those years involve actual on the ground construction. Let me say that again, at least ten years are not spent building anything, but are instead spent filling thousands of folders like these with millions of pages of paperwork.

“There’s been a lot of talk on ‘shovel-ready’ projects in recent years…well my amendment would help states and municipalities to put the pencils down and pick the shovels up. Especially at a time when our economy is struggling, the federal government needs to stop putting up road blocks to job creation and figure out ways to make things a little easier and less costly. My amendment would do just that.”

Key points from Rep. Ribble’s amendment

Praise for Rep. Ribble’s amendment

Pat Goss, President Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association:

“Congressman Ribble took the best parts of the original House bill and ensured that sensible reforms to the complicated federal approval process will have a fighting chance for passage.  His amendment reflects Wisconsin’s priorities for a more efficient and timely process by which transportation projects can be approved and jobs can be created.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

“The Ribble amendment would save time and money by streamlining and condensing the project review process by cutting bureaucratic red tape, allowing federal agencies to review transportation projects concurrently, and setting hard deadlines for federal agencies to approve projects, in addition to providing states with more approval authority.”

Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition:

“The Ribble amendment would save time and money and allow every federal dollar to buy more real, tangible transportation improvements instead of paying for the cost of bureaucratic red tape.”

List of outside groups that support Rep. Ribble’s amendment

American Public Transportation Association

American Road and Transportation Builders Association

Associated Equipment Distributors

Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Associated General Contractors

American Society of Civil Engineers

International Union of Operating Engineers

Laborers International Union of North America

National Asphalt Pavement Association 

National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

U.S. Chamber of Commerce