WASHINGTON, DC (April 8) — Congressman David Kustoff (TN-08), along with Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01), introduced the Paving the Way for Rural Communities Act of 2021. This legislation will make it easier to repair America’s roads and bridges by removing burdensome government regulations that are adversely targeted towards rural areas. Specifically, it exempts federally funded projects in our smaller, rural areas from the complex and costly laws such as National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
“The Paving the Way for Rural Communities Act of 2021 will remove outdated and burdensome barriers that rural communities in West Tennessee face when it comes to receiving federal assistance for economic development,” said Rep. Kustoff. “It is important that we continue to support rural America by cutting red tape and ensuring these small towns have equal access to economic growth and opportunities, especially with infrastructure projects. I appreciate Representative Rick Crawford and Senators Blackburn and Hyde-Smith for joining me in introducing this crucial bill. I look forward to working with my colleagues on its quick passage,” Kustoff added.
“The regulations of ESA, NHPA, and NEPA add enormous costs to communities as they try to provide safe and updated infrastructure to their residents while juggling the demands of the Federal government. In my district, multiple projects have been almost upended, and money washed down the drain because of burdensome regulations designed without Rural America in mind. We should be empowering our rural communities to build up new infrastructure efficiently, not weighing them down with outdated red tape,” said Rep. Crawford.
“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,” she added.