Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA04) announced today that he has introduced legislation, the 414 Plan Act of 2014 (H.R. 4153),which reduces red tape and presents a bold, decisive strategy for cutting costs, putting Americans back to work, and accelerating necessary construction and improvements to our nation's roads and bridges.
The 414 Plan seeks to mirror the process that enabled the efficient reconstruction of the Minneapolis bridge, which collapsed in 2007, by suspending for five years all federal regulations that do not pertain to safety or durability of highway facilities, or of public and workplace safety. Forbes' plan takes the much-needed approach of getting rid of costly, outdated federal requirements, while enabling states, local governments and private industry to collaborate and expedite critical infrastructure construction. This bill takes a step forward to, as President Obama said during his State of the Union Address, “slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process;” however, the 414 Plan aims to expedite construction, rather than investing more money in "stimulus"-type projects.
"Throwing more taxpayer dollars into transportation projects that are being choked by bureaucratic red tape only results in more waste, less advancement, and citizens that are increasingly frustrated - and rightfully so," Forbes said. "We need a bold approach to address the regulations that are hindering the successful and efficient completion of transportation projects across America. That is why I introduced the 414 Plan to expedite the construction of roads and bridges in order to create jobs and provide needed improvements to our nation's aging infrastructure."
The 414 plan:
· Suspends for five years all federal regulations that do not pertain to the safety or durability of highway facilities, or of public and workplace safety;
· Dispenses with costly, outdated federal requirements while continuing to afford states and localities flexibility in utilizing federal funding for road and bridge projects; and
· Expresses the sense of Congress on the need for greater interagency cooperation among project stakeholders to further expedite the deployment of surface transportation projects.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the text for this legislation can be found here.
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