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Sides Begin Touting Highway, Loans Deal

June 28, 2012

By Meredith Shiner

Despite falling short of their goal to see the Keystone XL oil pipeline authorized, House Republican aides pointed to what they said were significant victories they scored in the talks, including provisions that ensure federal dollars are spent on high-priority “core” infrastructure projects, give more autonomy to states to opt out of federal mandates that might divert funds to noneconomic beautification-type projects, cutting permit time for projects in half and eliminating duplicative surface programs.


The deal maintains current spending levels over the next two years and does not include earmarks, in line with the Congressional moratorium on Member-directed spending and unlike many transportation bills before it.


“This is the jobs bill for the 112th Congress,” Mica said in a statement Wednesday. “The unprecedented reforms in this legislation — cutting red tape, truly making projects ‘shovel ready,’ shrinking the size of the federal bureaucracy, attracting more private sector participation, and giving states more flexibility to address their critical priorities — will ensure that we more effectively move forward with major highway and bridge improvements and put Americans back to work.”






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