President Donald Trump announced regulatory changes aimed at streamlining the infrastructure approval process Wednesday, with the goal of giving a yes or no answer to each project within two years.
Trump made the announcement during an appearance at a UPS facility in Atlanta, Georgia. He was joined by Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Trump’s “One Federal Decision” policy requires that environmental reviews and infrastructure be completed within two years, with Trump saying current regulations allow them to span on for up to 20 years.
Remarks now from @POTUS complaining about “the years and years of litigation and tumult” of the “maze-like approval process” that caused massive delays for his construction projects pic.twitter.com/s3pmPAFWxa
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) July 15, 2020
Trump criticized the “maze-like” bureaucracy currently involved in getting approval for infrastructure products, saying the new time limits and regulator cuts will remake the process “from the ground up.” (RELATED: The Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Is Intended To Save Small Business — But Will It Work?)
Trump has targeted infrastructure reform since the opening days of his administration, when he called for a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill to move through Congress, which ultimately never occurred.
Trump had signaled in March that he may try to incorporate infrastructure funding into a phase 4 coronavirus stimulus bill, saying “this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill.”
With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2020
In the months since, no official phase 4 package has been passed through Congress, with the effort stalling in the Democrat-controlled House.