WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Angus King (I-ME), announced their bipartisan legislation to cut bureaucratic red tape for key national-security manufacturing operations, like semiconductors, by granting them access to an improved federal permitting program that will accelerate American development of these critical projects, has been signed into law.
Portman has led efforts to reform federal permitting. In 2015, Portman and then-Senator Claire McCaskill co-authored the Federal Permitting Improvement Act, which Congress ultimately enacted into law as Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. That law, now known as FAST-41, significantly reformed the federal infrastructure permitting process while leaving environmental protections in place. Most significantly, it created the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council, which brings together agencies at the start of the permitting process for some of the largest, most complicated infrastructure projects (covered projects) to write out a comprehensive plan for the permitting process across agencies. The FAST-41 permitting program was made permanent and improved upon in the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act.
“Expanding the FAST-41 permitting process improvements to more projects—especially projects involving semiconductors, technology, and other matters of national security—is common sense,” said Portman. “Over the past six years, the FAST-41 process has substantially reduced the permitting process timeline for covered projects by increasing agency communication and accountability. I’m pleased this bipartisan legislation to leverage that process to make America more competitive and secure is now law.”
“I came to Washington to create jobs for the American people and bolster our national security to beat the Chinese Communist Party in the competition that will define the century, and my first piece of legislation signed into law advances both of these important goals,” said Hagerty. “I thank Senators King and Portman for their steadfast partnership and my colleagues in both houses of Congress for their support in working to end our reliance upon Communist China, reinvigorate our manufacturing independence, and reduce government red tape to unleash American competitiveness and innovation. The enactment of this legislation is a win for American security and prosperity, American industries, American jobs, and the American people.”
“From basic household appliances to advanced defense systems, almost every piece of modern life relies on semiconductors. As supply chains struggle and tensions with China rise, it’s abundantly clear America can no longer afford to be dependent on competitors for these critical technologies,” said King. “Our bipartisan FAST-41 reforms will encourage a rapid expansion of the domestic semiconductor production critical to the nation’s long-term economic success and security. This is a commonsense step to support innovation – and, partnered with the historic investments of the CHIPS Act, will be a major boost to American competitiveness in the 21st century. I’m grateful to Senators Hagerty and Portman for their partnership on this bill and to President Biden for signing it into law.”
The Portman-Hagerty-King legislation, which passed the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent in January and passed the House of Representatives in July, will dramatically reduce the time it takes to obtain the permitting necessary to build semiconductor and other key manufacturing facilities in the United States, encouraging these projects to locate in the United States. This will not only create American jobs, but it will also help to re-shore supply chains that are essential to U.S. national security and reduce dependence on China and other foreign sources for key products, advancing American leadership.