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Pro-Growth: H.R. 7 Has No Earmarks & Eliminates or Consolidates Nearly 70 Duplicative Programs

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American Government

Pro-Growth: H.R. 7 Has No Earmarks & Eliminates or Consolidates Nearly 70 Duplicative Programs

Congressman John Boehner
February 8, 2012

Weve never done this on the transportation bill.  Theres always been earmarks.

Thats what one veteran House Democrat said recently about H.R. 7, the American Energy & Infrastructure Act, which, in addition to having no earmarks, eliminates or consolidates nearly 70 duplicative transportation programs and removes government barriers to job creation.  

This pro-growth approach is markedly different from infrastructure bills written in the past by leaders in both parties, who stuffed highway bills with earmarks, many of which siphoned off resources from high-priority projects.   In 2005, a Republican-led Congress passed a federal highway bill containing more than 6,300 earmarks.  Congressman Boehner was one of eight lawmakers to vote against the bill.  Every few years we go through the same inefficient, top-down approach that we’re going through now, and how do taxpayers and drivers benefit We really don’t, Boehner said at the time.  This process is clearly broken.

H.R. 7 reforms the process from top to bottom: no earmarks and no stimulus spending, only pro-growth reforms that link expanded energy production to infrastructure repair and cut through red tape to ensure taxpayer resources are used wisely and efficiently.  Still, House Democrats continue to chafe at the lack of earmarks in the bill, and it is perhaps one reason why many of them oppose it.  One House Democrat recently told POLITICO: I think people would be more enthusiastic if the bill included more earmarks.  The fact that H.R. 7 would lead to the creation of more than one million new private-sector jobs should be enough cause for enthusiasm.  

Earlier this week, in an interview with PBS NewsHour, Congressman Boehner highlighted how H.R. 7 is good for job creation and has no earmarks: 

The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act will be up here in the next couple of weeks opening up more areas for energy development and using those new revenues to pay for our aging infrastructure that needs real repair.  And we’ll do this in a way that has no earmarks.  You know, the last highway bill had 6,317 earmarks in it, little projects for members of Congress and their districts, some of them not-so-little.   No earmarks.

In addition to having no earmarks, H.R. 7 eliminates or consolidates nearly 70 duplicative transportation programs.  According to the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee

Currently, there are over 100 federal surface transportation programs, many of which were created over the last 50 years to expand the scope of the original programmatic goals.  Many of these programs are duplicative or do not serve a national interest.   The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act reforms surface transportation programs by consolidating or eliminating approximately 70 programs that are duplicative or do not serve a federal purpose.

By eliminating or consolidating these programs, the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act helps ensure taxpayer resources go to high-priority projects that have a direct connection to our economy not bike paths and beautification projects.  

Republicans focus on curbing government spending has transformed the discussion on transportation over the last year, National Journal reportsEarmarks, which once drove the entire surface transportation authorization process, are now a thing of the past.  

Visit the blog tomorrow to read part four in our series on pro-growth reforms in H.R. 7.  


H.R. 7 Ensures Scarce Taxpayer Dollars Are Focused on High-Priority Infrastructure Projects, Not Wasteful Pork
H.R.7 Removes Barriers to Energy Production to Create More Than a Million New Private-Sector Jobs

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