Press Releases

Babin Introduces Legislation Allowing Open Competition to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure

Washington, March 15, 2018

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX-36), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has introduced the Municipal Infrastructure Savings and Transparency Act, legislation to open up the bidding and development process for federally-funded public works projects and allow them to incorporate innovative and cost-effective building materials.

Congress has an obligation to get the most out of every taxpayer dollar it spends, but that is simply not happening right now with federally-funded public works projects. This legislation empowers engineers and architects by allowing them to choose from a full spectrum of building materials and components, and not just those that a municipal government deems appropriate. Instead of government picking winners and losers when it comes to building materials, it shifts that responsibility and final judgment to where it belongs – the engineers and architects doing the construction.

“President Trump is committed to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, and so am I, but we can’t repeat the inefficient and ineffective practices of the past and frankly, the present,” said Rep. 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.  As we come together on President Trump’s signature infrastructure proposal, the next Water Resources Development Act and other legislation, this bill will ensure we use the best products and get the best return on investment to the taxpayer.”

You can read the bill here.

You can read a one-page summary of the bill here.

Several companies and organizations, representing thousands of employees in the 36th District of Texas and across the country, have already come out in support of the legislation:

"This legislation will ensure that all materials can be considered for an infrastructure project receiving federal funds. Allowing for open competition of materials will lead to more innovation and taxpayer savings for these critical projects.” –Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell

“Leading Builders of America supports the Municipal Infrastructure Savings and Transparency Act. Our members are America’s builders and the costs of state and local regulations including mandates requiring the use of certain materials limit our ability to innovate and unnecessarily drive up housing costs for home buyers. Leading Builders of America supports opening competition so we can use the right materials for the project to build strong and affordable communities.” Ken Gear, CEO of the Leading Builders of America

“We commend Congressman Babin for introducing legislation that will help modernize our nation’s crumbling infrastructure while saving taxpayer dollars. The Municipal Infrastructure Savings and Transparency Act will break through outdated regulatory barriers and let project managers consider all technologies and select the most innovative and cost-effective solutions for the job instead of being mandated to use pre-selected materials. It’s estimated that adopting reforms like the ones in this legislation that allow for open competition could save over $370 billion on water infrastructure projects alone. We urge Congress to include this sensible bill as part of the legislative package to repair our failing infrastructure and help communities across the country.” –Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council

“Repairing our nation’s infrastructure will require a great deal of resources and our government owes it to the taxpayers to make sure that engineers can select the most cost-effective, efficient and innovative materials. Congressman Babin has come up with a sensible solution for freeing cities from material mandates and helping them make the most of federal dollars. I want to personally thank the Congressman for his leadership on eliminating outdated regulatory requirements and introducing legislation to create a fair and open bidding process for infrastructure projects.”Mark Lashier, President and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company

“America’s aging infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and we thank Congressman Babin for introducing this important legislation. The Municipal Savings and Transparency Act will increase market competition, resulting in more efficient use of taxpayer money for critical infrastructure upgrades. We urge Congress to support this legislation that allows for wise and efficient investment in our nation’s infrastructure.”Matt Davis, President, Dow North America and Senior Vice President, Global Public Affairs & Government Affairs, The Dow Chemical Company

“The Plastics Pipe Institute supports the Municipal Infrastructure Savings and Transparency Act. Our members produce plastic pipes for water and gas distribution, sanitary sewer lines and stormwater systems that have already been proven in helping upgrade American infrastructure. This bill will only help to accelerate that process for the benefit of everyone in this country.”  –Tony Radoszewski, President of the Plastic Pipe Institute

“It is no secret that our nation’s infrastructure has suffered from decades of neglect and underinvestment. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that an additional $2 trillion in spending is needed over the next 10 years to bring America’s water systems, roads, bridges and dams into the 21st Century. But with smart, comprehensive policies, we can reduce the costs for taxpayers and develop more resilient, sustainable infrastructure in the process. The Municipal Infrastructure and Savings Act would help achieve this goal by allowing local engineers to make more informed decisions about the materials they choose for their project. For example, recent research has shown that municipalities can save 30% in water infrastructure project material costs when open competition is applied. We want to thank Congressman Babin for his leadership on this issue and look forward to working with him to develop more sustainable infrastructure.“Dick Mason, Chairman of The Vinyl Institute