Debt Limit Deal: Permitting Reforms and Work Requirements Speed Up Infrastructure

Jun 18, 2023

In order for infrastructure projects to have protection for their needed funding, Congress and the Biden administration must work as a team.

While some infrastructure projects have already been announced by the President, the CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sanderr, issued the following statement as a result of the proposed agreement to lift the nation’s debt ceiling:

“The debt limit deal announced over the weekend includes significant reforms to a federal permitting process that has, until now, been one of the main impediments to progress on many vital infrastructure projects. These reforms will reduce the time it takes to complete environmental reviews without weakening any of the strong protections built into the process.

“The agreement’s new work requirements for some individuals receiving federal assistance should help bring more people back into the workforce. It is no secret that pandemic-era measures that paid people not to work have resulted in severe workforce shortages in virtually every sector of the economy. These shortages have undermined economic growth, including in construction. The new measures included in this deal should help make labor shortages less severe while delivering people from dependency to the dignity of high-paying careers in professions like construction.

“The biggest challenge with the deal will be to maintain already-promised levels of infrastructure funding into future years. Given how much time and energy the administration has spent announcing funding for projects that have yet to begin construction, the President has a lot vested in protecting those investments and ensuring those projects move forward, as do the bipartisan majorities in Congress that supported the original funding bill. We will remain vigilant in our efforts to protect that funding. “We urge Congress to adopt this debt limit deal to protect the nation’s economic vitality, accelerate permitting, address labor shortages and continue investing in aging and overburdened infrastructure.”

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