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Trump: Reforming Our Nation’s Infrastructure

President Trump was Monday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:

“Hello, everybody.

I want to thank all of our distinguished guests who are with us today, including members of our Cabinet: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and, of course, our Transportation Secretary — who is doing a fabulous job — Elaine Chao.

Thank you all for doing a really incredible and creative job on what we’re going to be discussing today, which is infrastructure. We’ve just had a great set of briefings upstairs on our infrastructure agenda. My administration is working every day to deliver the world-class infrastructure that our people deserve and, frankly, that our country deserves.

That’s why I just signed a new executive order to dramatically reform the nation’s badly broken infrastructure permitting process.

It took 11 months to build the Empire State Building. But today, it can take as long as a decade and much more than that — many, many stories where it takes 20 and 25 years just to get approvals to start construction of a fairly routine highway. Highway builders must get up to 16 different approvals involving nine different federal agencies governed by 29 different statutes. One agency alone can stall a project for many, many years, and even decades.

Not only does this cost our economy billions of dollars, but it also denies our citizens the safe and modern infrastructure they deserve. This overregulated permitting process is a massive self-inflicted wound on our country — it’s disgraceful — denying our people much-needed investments in their community.

And I just want to show you this because it was just shown to me, and I said, I think I’m going to show it to the media — both real and fake media, by the way. This is what it takes to get something approved today. So this is what it takes. Permitting process flowchart — that’s a flowchart.

So that can go out to 20 years. This shows about 10, but that can go out to about 20 years to get something approved. This is for a highway. I’ve seen a highway recently in a certain state — I won’t mention its name — 17 years. I could have built it for four or five million dollars without the permitting process. It cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but it took 17 years to get it approved and many, many, many, many pages of environmental impact studies.

This is what we will bring it down to. This is less than two years. This is going to happen quickly. That’s what I’m signing today. This will be less than two years for a highway. So it’s going to be quick, it’s going to be a very streamlined process. And, by the way, if it doesn’t meet environmental safeguards, we’re not going to approve it. Very simple. We’re not going to approve it. Maybe this one will say, let’s throw the other one away.

So my executive order also requires agencies to work together efficiently by requiring one lead agency for each major infrastructure project. It also holds agencies accountable if they fail to streamline their review process. So each agency is accountable. We’re going to get infrastructure built quickly, inexpensively — relatively speaking — and the permitting process will go very, very quickly.

No longer will we tolerate one job-killing delay after another. No longer will we accept a broken system that benefits consultants and lobbyists at the expense of hardworking Americans.

Now, I knew the process very well — probably better than anybody. I had to get permits for this building and many of the buildings I built — all of the buildings I built in Manhattan and many other places. And I will tell you that the consultants are rich people. They go around making it very difficult. They lobby Congress, they lobby state governments, city governments to make it very difficult so that you have to hire consultants, and that you have to take years and pay them a fortune. So we’re streamlining the process, and we won’t be having so much of that anymore.

No longer will we allow the infrastructure of our magnificent country to crumble and decay. While protecting the environment, we will build gleaming new roads, bridges, railways, waterways, tunnels, and highways. We will rebuild our country with American workers, American iron, American aluminum, American steel. We will create millions of new jobs and make millions of American dreams come true.

Our infrastructure will again be the best in the world. We used to have the greatest infrastructure anywhere in the world, and today we’re like a third-world country. We are literally like a third-world country. Our infrastructure will again be the best, and we will restore the pride in our communities, our nation, and all over the United States we’ll be proud again.

So I want to thank everybody for being here. God bless you. God bless the United States.”

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.