By Jeff Helms
MONTGOMERY, Ala., Feb. 12 — Alabama Farmers Federation today praised release of President Donald J. Trump’s infrastructure initiative.
“Our members are encouraged to see President Trump placing an emphasis on rural infrastructure in his Building a Stronger America plan,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “His call to reduce regulatory barriers and trust state and local governments with the authority to make decisions would help make the most of taxpayer dollars.”
The plan seeks $200 billion in federal funds to spur $1.5 billion in infrastructure investments at the state, local, tribal and private levels. Of that, $50 billion would be devoted to a Rural Infrastructure Program. The president said he would work with Congress to establish a “one agency, one decision” structure for environmental reviews and shorten the lengthy environmental review process to two years. He also aims to reform federal education and workforce development programs to better prepare Americans to perform in-demand jobs of today and the future.
“We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways and waterways all across our land. And we will do it with American heart and American hands and American grit,” Trump said.
Parnell said he’s hopeful lawmakers will make infrastructure improvement a priority this year.
“We encourage Congress to work in good faith with the White House to develop a plan to address America’s crumbling infrastructure,” Parnell said. “Good roads and waterways are vital to America’s farmers, the economy and the future of our rural communities.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall also praised the president’s announcement.
“President Trump’s Building a Stronger America plan promises to bring long overdue improvements to the country roads, bridges and broader infrastructure that farmers and ranchers depend on to reach customers at home and abroad,” Duvall said. “While past infrastructure plans have left rural America in the dust, this administration has not forgotten the rural communities that form the backbone of our nation.
“Farmers and ranchers know the pride of ownership and a hard day’s work, and the president’s infrastructure plan rewards those values. With less bureaucratic red tape and more local ownership, we’re confident this plan gives rural America the tools to drive our economy forward,” he added.