Passage of a massive water-projects bill is proof Republicans "have turned the page on the old ways" to deliver reforms that emphasize jobs and opportunity for middle-class families, Republican Rep. Bill Shuster said Saturday.
Delivering the weekly Republican address, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman touted the $12 billion-plus infrastructure bill
aimed at improving ports, harbors and waterways "essential to the flow of trade and commerce."
Shuster called the bill one of the "dozens of bills to expand opportunity for middle-class families" Republicans have passed.
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"At its core is a foundation for long-term job growth," he said. "Not just jobs in construction, but also jobs that depend on and are created by a modern, efficient transportation system."
But the bill also represents the end of "a spending free-for-all."
"Right now, it can take 10, 12, even 15 years to study a single project — nothing gets going," he said, adding costs of the studies are continually rising.
And, he noted, "traditionally this bill was bloated with earmarks, a spending free-for-all ... the worst of all worlds."
"Republicans have turned the page on the old ways," he declared. "We’re setting hard deadlines and cost limits. We're cutting out the outdated projects, the unnecessary bureaucracy. And there are absolutely no earmarks."
Together, Shuster said, the improvements "mean breaking down barriers to the worthy projects that can be the pride of our economy and our country."
"This is progress," he said.
Shuster said GOP reforms to make a focus on jobs the No. 1 priority, coupled with a change in political culture "to make government more accountable to you" are the legacy of a Republican-controlled House.
"Whatever it takes, we are determined to bring jobs home for America’s workers," he said.
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