Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan SMART Infrastructure Act

Inside WashingtonU.S. Reps. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) and Brian Babin (R-Texas) on Oct. 16 introduced H.R. 4687, the Sustainable Municipal Access to Resilient Technology in Infrastructure (SMART Infrastructure) Act, along with Reps. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.). The SMART Infrastructure Act supports innovation and open competition in procurement, allowing the United States to rebuild America’s infrastructure efficiently and sensibly.

Currently, several municipalities have regulations in place that significantly restrict the types of materials available to be used for infrastructure projects. These regulations have increased costs and obstructed the adoption of innovative technologies. The National Taxpayers Union estimates that opening competition for construction materials could save more than $371 billion on water infrastructure improvements alone.

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This bill encourages modern, resilient solutions that use taxpayer dollars responsibly by:

  • Requiring fair and open competition among suppliers of construction materials for infrastructure projects that receive federal funding; and
  • Establishing an interagency task force to develop a comprehensive report on procurement processes and open competition for construction materials.

“The SMART Infrastructure Act is capitalism at work – encouraging open competition and removing burdensome regulations while saving American taxpayers billions of dollars,” said Rouda. “As the federal government continues to fund critical infrastructure projects and Members on both sides of the aisle seek to increase that investment across the country, we should encourage modern, resilient solutions that use taxpayer dollars responsibly.”

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“Congress is responsible for making sure we get the most out of every American taxpayer dollar it spends, and the SMART Infrastructure Act will ensure just that,” said Babin. “This bill makes a simple, but critical, reform to our federally funded procurement and project-development process by returning authority and responsibility to the construction professionals who know best. I’m excited to work alongside Reps. Rouda, Napolitano and Norman to get this important piece of legislation passed into law.”

“Ensuring open and fair competition in the acquisition of materials for infrastructure projects is critically important,” added Napolitano. “It increases jobs in our districts by allowing innovative businesses to compete fairly with traditional materials, and it lowers costs for taxpayers by creating additional supply in the bidding process. I am proud to join Reps. Rouda, Babin and Norman in supporting this bipartisan legislation for our communities.”

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“In my home state of South Carolina and across the nation, there’s a renewed focus on infrastructure improvement,” said Norman. “From the federal standpoint, two of the best things Congress can do to facilitate these much needed improvements are to encourage competition and remove unnecessary regulations. I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of the SMART Infrastructure Act to help address these issues, and thank Representatives Rouda, Babin, and Napolitano for their leadership.”

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