On the House floor just now, John Boehner follows up on plans for legislation he started outlining back in his September economic speech, linking expanding drilling and energy production to infrastructure. According to the text provided by his office:
In September, I said that if we really want to do an infrastructure bill that will support long-term job growth, we should do one that is linked to a permanent expansion of American-made energy production.
In the months since I said that, we’ve been working on such a plan. Our intention is to introduce a bill within the next few weeks, and I’m hopeful it can pass the House before the end of the year.
Some details won’t be finalized until the bill is introduced, but it will remove barriers to American energy production and use the revenues to help pay for initiatives to repair and improve infrastructure.
It will remove government barriers in both energy and infrastructure – allowing the expansion of domestic energy production, and making reforms to the way infrastructure funds are spent.
I expect it will include reforms to ensure infrastructure money is spent on real priorities, instead of being spent on the frivolous projects that money has sometimes been diverted to in recent decades because of the set-aside mandates in current law. Reforms like concurrent review, to speed up environmental and bureaucratic approvals.
And like every bill we’ve passed through the House since taking the majority, the bill will have no earmarks in it.
This is the opposite of “stimulus.” By linking infrastructure to energy reform, we’re permanently removing barriers to job growth, instead of just spending money on a short-term fix.