U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has introduced legislation that she said proves it is possible to improve our nation’s infrastructure without implementing the largest tax hike in nearly three decades.
Blackburn, in a statement, also said it is possible to accomplish this without adding $2 trillion to our federal deficit.
Blackburn introduced the Paving the Way for Rural Communities Act of 2021, alongside U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and U.S. Representative David Kustoff (R-TN-08). Blackburn said the bill, if enacted into law, will make it easier for officials to repair America’s roads and bridges “by removing burdensome government regulations that are adversely targeted towards rural areas.”
“Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan will increase government control, tax hardworking Americans, and cause our federal deficit to skyrocket,” Blackburn said.
“While America’s roads and bridges need repair, especially in rural areas, there are countless ways to fix this without harming working families. This bill is a tax-free alternative that will strengthen our nation’s infrastructure and remove regulations that prevent rural counties from fixing their roads.”
Hyde-Smith, meanwhile, said that rural towns and communities struggle financially and administratively to comply with the government’s regulatory hurdles to gain access to federally-funded infrastructure projects.
“This legislation would remove burdensome regulations, allowing these rural communities to better compete for important federal resources to improve public services,” Hyde-Smith said.
Kustoff said the bill “will remove outdated and burdensome barriers that rural communities in West Tennessee face when it comes to receiving federal assistance for economic development.”
Blackburn, in her press release, said federal laws add enormous cost and complexity to communities trying to work with federal agencies on highway construction or economic development projects. She cited the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as examples.
“These laws sometimes hinder investment in rural communities and allow urban counties to gain a disproportionate advantage on federal infrastructure projects. The Paving the Way for Rural Communities Act of 2021 works to level the playing field for rural America,” according to Blackburn’s press release.
“In contrast to President Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, which would raise taxes, prioritize Democrat cities, and fund liberal pet projects, the Paving the Way for Rural Communities Act of 2021 works to level the playing field for rural America.”
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