Earlier this week, President Trump’s infrastructure proposal was released and with it, an opportunity to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and solve many of these pressing issues in our backyard.

I hear from North Missouri residents on a regular basis, and I see firsthand the countless infrastructure issues facing our community: closed bridges, roads with no shoulders, and terrible internet. America’s infrastructure is in disrepair, and it’s long past time we start building again.

Earlier this week, President Trump’s infrastructure proposal was released and with it, an opportunity to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and solve many of these pressing issues in our backyard.

Rebuilding our infrastructure is clearly a bipartisan issue. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’ve already been working on what a comprehensive infrastructure bill should look like. No new or existing program is going to be the silver bullet that fixes everything, but coupling the Presidents ideas with improvements to current federal transportation programs will make a meaningful impact.

An integral piece of the administration’s proposal will be to address the current federal permitting process. We can no longer afford to let the federal process delay projects and drive up prices, which ultimately hurts workers, commuters, and our economy. President Trump understands this. He has been building large projects his entire life, giving him firsthand knowledge of just how unnecessary and costly the process can be. American workers built the Empire State Building in just 1 year ? it can now take 10 years to get approval to build a highway. That is unacceptable and we plan to fix that.

Additionally, I want to empower States and localities to invest in the projects they want, without being burdened by the Federal Government’s red tape and bureaucracy which impede creativity, add costs, and slow down the process. We must provide local leaders with new opportunities to work in tandem with private enterprises. The ultimate goal is to have the federal government make smarter and more efficient investments in infrastructure.

Moreover, it was a welcome sight to learn about the President’s emphasis on our rural communities. This has brought much-needed attention to a part of our country that has been overlooked for far too long. Investment in rural infrastructure from roads and bridges to broadband will go a long way in improving commerce and quality of life for North Missourians.

An efficient transportation network is vital to our economic future and we are now presented with a great opportunity to build for future generations. Our country faces many challenges and this blueprint sets us on a path to address them. I look forward to working with President Trump and my colleagues in Congress to improve the infrastructure of today and build for the infrastructure of tomorrow.