WASHINGTON, D.C. – Early this morning, the Senate voted on an amendment filed by U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, to the Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spending bill that would have enacted strong permitting reforms aimed at reducing burdensome regulations currently delaying key energy and infrastructure projects across the country.
Prior to the vote, Ranking Member Capito spoke on the Senate floor about the need to pass these reforms now, and not wait on the supposed promise of permitting legislation later, saying in her speech, “Let’s tackle inflation, permitting, and energy supply challenges now. Let’s finish the Mountain Valley Pipeline now. Americans can’t wait. And no one can Build Back Better if we can’t build anything at all.”
All 50 Senate Democrats voted against Ranking Member Capito’s amendment. Should permitting reform legislation come before the Senate by the end of September, which has supposedly been promised by congressional Democrat leadership without the release of complete legislative text or strategy, it would need 60 votes to pass the 50-50 Senate before heading to the Democrat-controlled House.
Following the vote, Senator Capito released the following statement: “I have expressed my skepticism that Democrats will keep their promise to pass meaningful permitting reform later this year. The fact of the matter is that with 60 votes, meaningful reforms to expedite projects and block Biden administration actions that will slow down development could have been added to this bill tonight. After voting to stop permitting reform tonight, it is even harder to believe that Democrats will join us to enact it next month.”
Below is the floor speech of Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), as prepared for delivery:
“I rise to offer a commonsense permitting reform amendment.
“There has been a lot of talk and promises about a supposed ‘deal’ on fixing our nation’s broken permitting process, but we have yet to see legislative text.
“My amendment delivers these reforms now.
“Among these are reforms are provisions that:
- Reduce delays in environmental reviews—generally to two years or less—while maintaining protections;
- Eliminate regulatory hurdles driving higher gasoline and energy costs; and
- Implement One Federal Decision.
“Those are things that Democrats say they will support, eventually.
“Let’s tackle inflation, permitting, and energy supply challenges now.
“Let’s finish the Mountain Valley Pipeline now.
“Americans can’t wait.
“And, no one can Build Back Better if we can’t build anything at all.
“I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this amendment.
“Thank you, and I yield the floor.”