Letter to Congress: The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act
On behalf of more than 1.9 million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I would like to express some concerns about the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act.
Without question the bill has significant strengths. AFP supports the effort to consolidate overlapping transportation programs and eliminate wasteful ones, and we applaud the expanded access to much-needed American energy resources. We especially commend the House for committing to an earmark-free bill, which we urge remain a priority moving forward into negotiations with the Senate. The previous surface transportation authorization included over 6,300 earmarks, including $200 million for the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska.
Nevertheless, Americans for Prosperity has some concerns with the bill. The bill continues to use large general fund transfers to fund transportation, and the bill’s overall spending level is flat at time when every government program could benefit from considerable cuts. The bill lacks commonsense labor reforms that would significantly reduce the expense of construction and maintenance projects. Finally, the bill could go much further in devolving power to the states, a commendable idea proposed in various forms in the current Congress by Senator DeMint (R-SC) and Representatives James Lankford (R-OK), Tom Graves (R-GA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Scott Garrett (R-NJ).
We urge amendments to strengthen the bill by adding critical labor reforms and cutting the overall spending level to the amount of anticipated revenue.
Moreover, we are seriously concerned that this legislation may be made significantly worse as it moves through the Senate, and therefore recommend caution in supporting a bill that may simply advance a process that ultimately results in a bloated and unacceptable final product.
We will be carefully monitoring this legislation and anticipate key voting against a conference report if it fails to accomplish meaningful reforms.
Director of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity