Portman Applauds Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council for Creating Thousands of Jobs & Cutting Red Tape 

May 22, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, which was created by legislation sponsored by Portman in 2015, released its annual report to CongressThe report highlights the creation of more than 127,000 temporary construction jobs and more than 3,000 permanent jobs across the United States over the last year and the Council’s success in reducing unnecessary delays in government approvals for large infrastructure projects by 1.5 years on average. Portman released the following statement: 

“I commend the Permitting Council’s Executive Director Alex Herrgott and the Permitting Council’s members and staff for their extraordinary success in creating jobs and reducing unnecessary delays in government approvals for large infrastructure projects. This builds upon the news last year that the Permitting Council has saved projects more than a billion dollars so far. Today’s news reinforces the need for my legislation to make FAST-41’s benefits permanent, apply it to more federal projects to ensure they get done on time and under budget, and expand the authority of the Permitting Council to accomplish these common-sense goals. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get the Federal Permitting Reform and Jobs Act signed into law.” 

NOTE: In 2015, Sen. Portman sponsored the Federal Permitting Improvement Act, which Congress ultimately enacted into law as Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. That bill, now known as FAST-41, significantly reformed the federal infrastructure permitting process while leaving environmental protections in place, and created the Permitting Council. 

Because FAST-41 will expire in 2022, Sen. Portman has introduced legislation, the Federal Permitting Reform and Jobs Act, to lift the sunset on FAST-41 and build on the progress the Permitting Council has made to date. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs reported the bill in July 2019, and it is now awaiting a vote by the full Senate.  Today’s report from the Permitting Council demonstrates the need for Congress to swiftly enact this legislation to ensure that the Permitting Council can continue its work to reduce unnecessary delays in the permitting process and to support the creation of jobs, which will help the nation recover from the COVID-19 crisis.