House Judiciary Committee Approves Bill on Permit Streamlining

Press Release

Date: Sept. 6, 2018
Location: Washington, DC

The House Judiciary Committee today approved the Permitting Litigation Efficiency Act of 2018 (H.R. 5468) by a vote of 13-11. This legislation, sponsored by Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and cosponsored by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), eliminates bureaucratic delays and reforms litigation processes that will allow needed infrastructure projects to be completed in a timely manner.

The state of our economy is always at the forefront of American minds. Continuing its stability and growth is one of the main responsibilities of this Congress. Americans want to see what Congress is doing to create American jobs, higher wages, a booming stock market, and keep levels of consumer confidence high. Making sure red tape and bureaucracy does not hinder further progress is an important part of having a thriving economy.

The purpose of the Permitting Litigation Efficiency Act of 2018 is to reform America's outdated, slow-moving permitting system. This legislation speeds up the decision-making process by establishing a strong incentive for permitting agencies to finalize their decisions within a 2-year deadline, leading to faster delivery of jobs and investment for projects that win a permitting "green light."

This bill sets a prompt statute of limitations for lawsuits challenging those decisions and requires those suits to be based on matters actually presented to the permitting agencies during the administrative process. Furthermore, the bill assures that judges considering preliminary injunction requests in those cases will take into better account the potential economic and environmental harms of delaying project construction by injunctions.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.) applauded today's approval of the Permitting Litigation Efficiency Act with the following statements:

Chairman Goodlatte: "The federal permitting process must be streamlined in order to grow our economy and continue to create more American jobs. The Permitting Litigation Efficiency Act of 2018 will uncomplicate current infrastructure delays and untangle the web of red tape surrounding it. I thank my colleague, Subcommittee Chairman Marino for introducing this bill and am pleased the Committee has passed it today."

Subcommittee Chairman Marino: "After the recent hearing on this critical legislation, it was clear from the witness testimonies that there is a pressing need for permit streamlining. There is too much red tape and ongoing litigation that needlessly stands in the way of economic development and job growth by delaying permit approvals for vital projects. My legislation ensures there is an effective environmental review, but it sets a mandate that the review is timely and streamlined. I am pleased to take this next step towards sending this common-sense bill to the House floor."

Background: In April, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Permitting Litigation Efficiency Act of 2018.