Sen. Claire McCaskill has unveiled a bill to cut permitting and get projects moving. She says the bill is common-sense and bipartisan.
McCaskill is working with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio on what they’re calling the Federal Permitting Improvement Act, which she says has the support of the Chamber of Commerce, The Business Roundtable, and the labor community. She says building safe and environmentally structures are a source of American pride, but the current permit process has “way to many tentacles,” impeding economic growth and job creation.
“When you have that many cooks in the kitchen without a chef it never has a good ending, and what we’re doing with this legislation is putting someone in charge,” she said at a press conference in Washington. “I think this is a terrific piece of legislation. We ought to be able to get it through here quickly, especially with the partners we have, both Republicans and Democrats. I think a lot of members will want to join in on this legislation. There’s nothing new here. There’s nothing different, other than a commitment that the Federal Government can do a more efficient job of permitting projects so we can get more of Americans back to work and we can then hopefully do the other piece of this, which is additional investment in our infrastructure.”
Sen. Roy Blunt agrees with McCaskill when she says the current process is “laden with uncertainty and unpredictability that hinders investment, economic growth, and job creation,” and says streamlining government and increasing efficiency needs to be a priority.
He wouldn’t say whether he would approve the measure — yet.
“I’m in favor of the concept,” he said in a conference call. “I haven’t looked in depth at the act, but it’s something I’ve been talking about for a long time.”
Blunt says businesses who ran like they did 20 years ago would not survive in today’s market, and yet the government still runs like it did 20 years ago, with many policies and regulations that are outdated and outmoded.
In many ways, he said, “We don’t even have an analog government in a digital world, we have a carbon-paper government in a digital world.”
AUDIO: Jessica Machetta reports (1:10)
AUDIO: Blunt talks about need for government efficiency with Missouri reporters (2:01)