House Speaker John Boehner Monday signaled that the House will take up legislation that will seek to clear the deck for expanded oil and natural gas production, with revenues going towards infrastructure upgrades.
“In the coming weeks and months, the House will take action on the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act [set to be H.R. 7], which will link expanded American energy production to high-priority infrastructure like roads and bridges in order to create more jobs,” Boehner said.
Boehner made the statement at the start of a seven-member congressional delegation to the top three export markets in Latin America, with stops planned for Brazil, Columbia and Mexico. “The delegation…will focus closely on energy issues — studying the economic impact of pro-energy domestic policies being implemented by nations such as Brazil, and visiting with American energy producers forced to create jobs overseas by excessive Washington laws that keep most U.S. energy resources on federal lands under lock and key.”
The Republican legislation is almost certain to trigger a stand-off with Democrats and President Obama, who oppose an expansion of oil and natural gas drilling such as the one proposed in the legislation.
The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act is a combination of three bills:
Rather than relying on stimulus spending and higher taxes to fund infrastructure projects, the legislation would provide the funding for high-priority projects (highways and bridges); speed up bureaucratic approvals, eliminate needless programs, increase private sector-involvement in infrastructure; and would not have any earmarks, according to Boehner’s office.
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