At this moment, between $15 billion and $25 billion sit in limbo, ready to bring value to local economies. Seventy-five thousand jobs are waiting to be created, simply pending approval. This is because 15 different infrastructure projects are unable to receive approval from the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC). The Commission has been without a quorum for months, waiting for nominees to receive approval from the Senate.
If the Senate continues to delay bringing these nominees to a general vote, our country will miss out on an invaluable economic opportunity. These projects waiting for approval will benefit us all, building roads, highways, bridges and dams. They are infrastructure projects that do not need additional federal funding. This isn’t a budgetary debate. It’s partisan bickering that senselessly denies thousands of Americans the infrastructure improvements they greatly need—along with thousands of jobs.
Two nominees have already received approval from the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee, and a third is on the way. Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson were nominated by President Trump back in May, and while they wait for Senate approval only one person remains on the five-person Commission. Both Democrats and Republicans are blaming each other for the delay, with the White House labeling Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer an obstructionist, while Senator Schumer says that the White House “need only look in the mirror” to see who is to blame.
This is the exact type of Washington infighting that the American people are tired of hearing. They just want results and movement on economic opportunities. Promoting the repair and growth of our nation’s infrastructure is clearly a non-partisan issue. Congress should take action immediately as it would benefit the country so tremendously. Commonsense action to fill the FERC quorum can help the economy immediately, and it is time to cut through the noise and get it done.
The GAIN Coalition is eager to see the Senate move forward with the nominees, because this isn’t an issue of the left or the right, of Democrat or Republican. This is a moment when action can be taken to benefit the American people. Approving the two FERC nominees before the Senate would allow infrastructure projects to finally move forward, bring incredible boosts to our local and national economies, and create thousands of jobs. It is time to move forward with the FERC nominees. We hope to see the two receive votes very soon.