WASHINGTON, May 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The New Center – an organization focused on creating the space for a political center in America – today released a new policy paper entitled, "Infrastructure: A Tangle of Red Tape." In the wake of Democratic Congressional leaders' recent discussion with the President regarding a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, this paper highlights ways in which leaders on both sides could collaborate to clear the regulatory red tape that stands in the way of crucial infrastructure projects across the country.
As President Obama famously remarked when he realized how long it took to start building infrastructure projects authorized by the 2009 Recovery Act: "There's no such thing as shovel-ready projects" in America.
"Infrastructure: A Tangle of Red Tape" examines the key causes of delayed and stalled infrastructure projects and offers solutions to make more projects truly "shovel ready." A future New Center paper on identifying sources of infrastructure funding will soon follow.
As countries in Europe and elsewhere have shown, protections for the environment, labor and the interests of local communities are not mutually exclusive. The New Center suggests several that could allow the U.S. to accomplish both, including:
- Introducing a program that incentivizes states and localities to streamline and improve their procurement processes and to take such procedural steps that will speed up the delivery of vital infrastructure projects.
- Creating a single federal entity with the authority to coordinate disparate infrastructure review processes and to resolve disputes among agencies and various levels of government in a timely fashion.
- Reintroducing bipartisan legislation that died in the last Congress to improve on current permitting legislation and ensure that review processes for infrastructure projects are as quick and efficient as possible.
- Giving the states more flexibility to spend federal infrastructure funding on the projects that they deem to be most important.
- Investing in the infrastructure projects that are most essential to public safety and economic competitiveness rather than those that serve political imperatives.
- Expanding the Department of Transportation's Permitting Dashboard, an online resource that tracks the status of some of the largest infrastructure projects, to all projects under environmental review to provide greater accountability and transparency to the public.
The full "Infrastructure: A Tangle of Red Tape" paper is available for download at www.newcenter.org along with several other recent policy proposals.
About The New Center
American politics is broken, with the far left and far right making it increasingly impossible to govern. This will not change until a viable center emerges with an assertive agenda that appeals to the vast majority of the American people.
This is the mission of The New Center, which aims to establish the intellectual basis for a viable political center in today's America.
We create and promote ideas, news coverage, and commentary that helps Americans see common-sense solutions to the problems we face.
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SOURCE The New Center