13th District Congressman Rodney Davis has introduced a bill to expedite crucial infrastructure projects around the country. The One Federal Decision Act would make the federal permitting and environmental review processes more efficient for major infrastructure projects by enacting sensible reforms. According to Davis, the goal of the OFDA is to reduce project delays and save taxpayer dollars without reducing the effectiveness of the environmental review process. The bill would codify a previous executive order signed by President Donald Trump back in 2017.
Trump’s executive order allegedly streamlined the project permitting process by placing a 2-year timeline for government completion of environmental reviews and by consolidating the process across federal agencies. Davis’ legislation would ensure Trump’s executive order would become permanent and mirror language found in the Senate Surface Transportation Reauthorization proposal approved in the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Critics of the bill and executive order have said that the legislation creates a problem where there isn’t one. The Atlantic Council, The Regulatory Review, The Atlantic Monthly, and the Congressional Research Service have allegedly discredited the underlying assertion that federal infrastructure timelines are unnecessarily slow. Critics also say the legislation will allow agencies to cut corners on necessary reviews that ensure public safety.
Davis’ bill currently only has Republican sponsorship and support and awaits its first reading on the House floor.