AP - A top Republican congressman says the government needs a "kick in the pants" to get federal stimulus money focused on repairing dilapidated bridges.But according to AP’s fact checking, Mica’s call for doing away with red tape may not be the best public policy:
Rep. John Mica, the senior Republican on the transportation committee, said he's frustrated that states are spending so much on routine paving and not focusing on shoring up tens of thousands of bad bridges. He said there's too much red tape involved in bridge projects.
It appears Rep. Duncan isn’t to keen on a public’s right to review or ensure that bridge and road construction eventually not harm the environment and adversely affect public health and safety? It’s just a lot of red tape.
Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., said "doing away with all the environmental restrictions" would speed up stimulus spending. That mischaracterizes both the stimulus and the environmental review process.
Since 1970, federally funded projects have required reviews to ensure they don't harm the environment, public health or safety. Environmental Restrictions prohibit developers from building highways in areas that would pollute drinking water or send water flooding into nearby basements. Eliminating those restrictions would eliminate the public right to review and object to projects before they're built.
Remember when Republicans opposed stimulus money for temporary infrastructure jobs, paring it back to around $46 billion out of the total $850 billion package in favor of tax cuts? I do too.