WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has introduced legislation proving it is possible to improve our nation’s infrastructure without implementing the largest tax hike in nearly three decades or adding $2 trillion to our federal deficit. Senator Blackburn introduced the Paving the Way for Rural Communities Act of 2021, alongside Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and Representative David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), which will make it easier to repair America’s roads and bridges by removing burdensome government regulations that are adversely targeted towards rural areas.
“Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan will increase government control, tax hardworking Americans, and cause our federal deficit to skyrocket,” said Senator Blackburn. “While America’s roads and bridges need repair, especially in rural areas, there are countless ways to fix this without harming working families. This bill is a tax-free alternative that will strengthen our nation’s infrastructure and remove regulations that prevent rural counties from fixing their roads.”
“Rural towns and communities struggle financially and administratively to comply with the regulatory hurdles to gain access to federally funded infrastructure projects,” Sen. Hyde-Smith said. “This legislation would remove burdensome regulations, allowing these rural communities to better compete for important federal resources to improve public services.”
“The Paving the Way for Rural Communities Act of 2021 will remove outdated and burdensome barriers that rural communities in West Tennessee face when it comes to receiving federal assistance for economic development. I appreciate Senators Blackburn and Hyde-Smith for joining me in introducing this important bill that will bring more jobs and growth to our rural communities,” said Rep. Kustoff.
Federal laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), add enormous cost and complexity to communities trying to work with federal agencies on highway construction or economic development projects. These laws sometimes hinder investment in rural communities and allow urban counties to gain a disproportionate advantage on federal infrastructure projects. In contrast to President Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan which would raise taxes, prioritize Democrat cities, and fund liberal pet projects, the Paving the Way for Rural Communities Act of 2021 works to level the playing field for rural America.
Read Senator Blackburn’s statement on Biden’s “infrastructure” plan here.