REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP
ON THE REBUILDING OF AMERICA’S
INFRASTRUCTURE: FASTER, BETTER, STRONGER
UPS Hapeville Airport Hub
3:42 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. Great honor. Please. Thank you. Sit down, please.
It’s great to be with you. Great company and wonderful location. Quick flight. It's in and out, but we have some big things to say.
Carol, I want to thank you also for doing such an incredible job at this company. I look at your numbers and I'm very jealous. A lot of people are very jealous.
But I'm delighted to be back in Atlanta, Georgia -- a special place. (Applause.) The hometown of one of the most amazing companies on Earth, UPS. They never fail. (Applause.) The dedicated men and women of UPS are an inspiration to us all.
In the face of every challenge, you always come through for your fellow citizens. Would you say that's correct? I say it's correct. (Applause.) Let me start by expressing my gratitude to every driver, worker, and employee who has contributed to this great success and continue to deliver for America throughout our battle against the China virus. It goes by many different names -- about 21 that I can figure. We maybe will use a different one every time we hit it. But whatever it is, it was a terrible thing and it could have been stopped and it should have been stopped right where it started, in China.
Together we will defeat this virus and emerge stronger than ever before. We're here today -- (applause) -- to celebrate a historic breakthrough that will transform the lives of workers and families all across our nation.
For decades, the single biggest obstacle to building a modern transportation system has been the mountains and mountains of bureaucratic red tape in Washington, D.C. Before I took office, reviews for highways ballooned to an average of nearly 750 pages in length. And they were the good ones; they were the short ones.
And I know because I was in business for a long time, and I had to go through a process that was so ridiculous. It was so ridiculous. We went through a process for building buildings, usually. It would take forever. By the time you’d start building, the market changed. You said, “You know, the market was good when we started; now the market is lousy.” So you’d say, “The hell with it. We won't build.” Sometimes you’d start building and you’d say, “That was a mistake.”
But we went through years and years of litigation and tumult, and it was just not good. But you go through it to an even greater extent.
The maze-like approval process represented lobbyists that were very rich; they were making a lot of money. I remember I'd go up to Albany, New York, and I’d see my lobbyists up there. I said, “What are you doing here?” I knew what they were doing. They were trying to make it more difficult. So you had to hire them for more and more work, spend millions and millions of dollars for nothing.
But too often, they caused massive delays, on top of everything else. And that way, they got their fees over a longer period of time. It's one of the reasons why, for example, the average Atlanta driver spends an incredible 77 hours in traffic during a short period of time.
But all of that ends today. We're doing something very dramatic. (Applause.) We just completed an unprecedented -- and I don't want to say it's absolutely unprecedented -- top-to- bottom overhaul -- should have been done years ago -- of the infrastructure approval process; this approval process that has cost trillions of dollars over the years for our country and delays like you wouldn't believe.
This is a truly historic breakthrough, which means better roads, bridges, tunnels, and highways for every UPS driver and every citizen all across our land. Together, we’re reclaiming America's proud heritage as a nation of builders and a nation that can get things done, because with these horrible roadblocks that were put in front of us, you couldn't get it done. No matter how good you were, you couldn't get it done. You'd wait and wait. You’d go to the next step. You’d say, “You can’t start the next step until you finish the first.”
Joining us for the special occasion are: Council of Environmental Quality Chairman Mary Neumayr. Where's Mary? Mary. Thank you, Mary. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you, Mary. Good.
Secretary of Transportation -- a very special woman, a great woman; somebody that has done an incredible job: Elaine Chao. Elaine. (Applause.) And she was very much instrumental in getting this done. And when Elaine speaks, we all listen. But she was very much instrumental.
Secretary of Agriculture, a man who’s done a fantastic job for our farmers and ranchers: Sonny Perdue. Sonny. (Applause.) And I learned more about farming from Sonny Perdue than all of these consultants that came in. I learned more in a half an hour from that man right there. We had a great call today with the farmers too. A great call. They're doing very well. A lot of good things have happened. Right, Sonny? A lot of things have happened. They were targeted by China. They were targeted by others.
We just signed the USMCA, which is phenomenal for our country and our farmers. (Applause.) Got rid of one of the worst trade deals in history, NAFTA. One of the worst trade deals ever. How anybody could have signed it, but worse, how anybody could have let it run for 25 years or whatever it was. They just took advantage of us. We had 60,000 empty plants and factories in our country by the time that mess got finished. So we just signed a great deal, USMCA. It's the largest trade deal ever made -- Mexico, Canada. The largest ever made. (Applause.)
I know Sonny would like me to thank the UPS, all of the drivers and workers, for all of the help in delivering nearly 30 million meals to rural children throughout the country through our Meals-to-You program. Meals-to-You. You know what that is? Meals-to-You. You do, right?
We’re also pleased to be joined by a great senator, somebody that's done a phenomenal job. And I can tell you -- look, he's a friend of mine, so I'm a little prejudiced, but he's a man that's respected by everybody on both sides of the U.S. Senate. He works hard. He loves your state. And I always say, “Does David get the kind of recognition that he deserves?” Because he is a very, very special man. David Perdue. Where’s David? (Applause.) David. Thank you.
And a woman who has come in and done a great job, and she’s been so supportive of me and the agenda and a good person, a good woman with a husband who’s a terrific man, Senator Kelly Loeffler. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you, Kelly. Great job, Kelly.
And warriors. These are warriors. These people fought for us through thick and thin, through very, very unfair territory. We were treated terribly, and they came in and they turned out to be tougher than the other side, by a lot.
And I just want to introduce Representatives Rick Allen -- Rick. Thanks, Rick. (Applause.) The great Buddy Carter. Buddy. (Applause.) An incredible spokesman, an incredible man and friend, Doug Collins. Doug. Thank you, Doug. (Applause.) Great job, Doug. Drew Ferguson. Drew. Thank you very much, Drew. (Applause.) Jody Hice. Jody. Thank you, Jody. Great job, Jody. (Applause.) And Barry Loudermilk. (Applause.) Larry, thank you very much.
And also, two people, friends of mine -- they’ll be there soon, in my opinion, because they have to be because we need all the help we can get in Washington: Karen Handel. Karen. (Applause.) Thank you very much, Karen. Thank you, Karen. And Rich McCormick. Rich. Thank you. (Applause.) They’ll be there soon, I hope. I hope. We need them. We need them. Get them in there.
Thank you as well to a man who I became very good friends with, a man who was running against somebody that was unbeatable, running against a superstar. I said, “Oh, she’s a superstar. Wow.” Can you beat superstars? I don’t think so. But he figured out how to beat a superstar. And, I don’t know, is she still a superstar, Brian? I’m not sure. I’m not sure. I don’t think so. (Laughter.) I don’t know. Superstars don’t lose, do they? Governor Brian Kemp. (Applause.) I’ll tell you, what a -- what a warrior he is. He is tough. He’s tough. And he’s done a great job, and you’ve done a great job in every aspect of running this incredible state. And I’ve always been there for you. He was saying when we met at the plane, “Everything we’ve needed in Georgia, you’ve been there for.” And that’s right. That’s right. (Applause.)
Perhaps more important than Brian, however -- right? -- far more important is Georgia First Lady, Marty Kemp. Thank you very much, Marty. (Applause.)
And watch, please, those mail-in ballots. You’re going to watch that for me because, you know, they have a lot of problems all over the country. They just had Paterson, New Jersey, where massive percentages of the vote was a fraud. Mail-in ballots. Be careful. Be careful. They would understand, because they deliver. In fact, I’m going to have to be very nice to UPS. (Laughter.) UPS -- I love you, Carol. Wherever you are, Carol. I love you, Carol.
No, it’s very bad what’s going on with mail-in ballots -- okay? -- as differentiated from absentee ballots, where you have to go and you go through a process because you can’t be there for some reason. But the mail-in ballots is going to be -- they’re going to be rigged. They’re going to be a terrible situation. And you have to be careful in Georgia, but you have to be careful everywhere where they’re doing it.
You know, we went through a First World War and a Second World War and people went to vote. Now they're saying, “Let's use this as a chance not to vote.” And there's been tremendous corruption -- tremendous corruption -- on mail-in ballots. So absentee ballot: Great. Mail-in ballot: Absolutely no good. It makes no sense. A governor sends out millions of ballots all over the place; they don't know where they're going. They're going to wherever.
I have a friend who got one for his daughter, another one for his daughter, and then a second one for the first daughter. They didn't know what to do with them. I had another friend -- a really wonderful guy -- who lost his son seven years ago: Robert. His son Robert. And his son was sent a mail-in ballot. He called me. He said, “What do I do? I just got a mail-in ballot for Robert.” Robert died seven years ago.
So it's -- it's a terrible situation if they decide to use it. And we'll see what happens. There’s a lot of litigation. A lot of court cases right now. And it makes sense. Just think of it: millions of ballots. In California, they're sending out millions of ballots. They don't even know who. Maybe they know too well who they're sending them to, and maybe it's the people that don't get it. Maybe it's an area of Republicans or Democrats that don't happen to get any ballots.
We've had a lot of problems. Just take a look at what's gone on over the last month, and take a look at Paterson, New Jersey, a small city in New Jersey. I think they said something like 20 percent of the ballots were corrupted or something happened with them. Twenty percent.
And even in the 2016 election, 1 percent are in question. But I don't want to talk about that one because I won, so I don't want anyone going back and looking. All right? (Laughter.) I’m not going to talk about 2016. That was the greatest election. And now we have to do something very important. We have to keep it going, or this country will be in big, big trouble. (Applause.)
I want to thank also for being here, Georgia Attorney General, Chris Carr. (Applause.) You’re the one, Chris. Watch that, Chris, will you? You’re going to watch that Chris, please? Okay? You got to speak to the man that handles it. You know what I’m talking about. Got to do it. Thank you, Chris. It’s in good hands. Superintendent Richard Woods. Richard, thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you. And members of the Georgia Public Service Commission and the State Senate and House Transportation Committee. Got a lot of politicians in this room. And, really, good luck to Karen and to Rich. Go out and go get them. You’re great people.
Today’s action is part of my administration’s fierce commitment to slashing the web of needless bureaucracy that is holding back our citizens. I've been wanting to do this from day one. And we started it on day one -- literally, on day one -- but it takes a long time. You have statutory requirements; you have a lot of different roadblocks even to changing it. But the change you'll be hearing about in a minute. And it's one of the biggest things we can be doing for our country.
The last administration increased the Federal Register by 16,000 pages of job-killing regulations. Under my administration, we have cut the Federal Register by nearly 25,000 pages, more than any President in history, whether it's four years, eight years, or in one case, more. And we, frankly -- this, I would think, is maybe the biggest of all. We did the U.S. Waters -- you saw that. The U.S. Waters Act. That was a big one. That was a big one. (Applause.)
I thought I was going to take a lot of heat when I did that, and instead it was just the opposite. People came up -- grown men that had never cried, even when they were a baby -- they were standing behind me when I signed that bill at the White House, and they were crying. They were crying -- because we gave their life back to them. That took their life away. It took their livelihood away. It was a big, big moment.
But this is a big moment today too -- probably, possibly equally as big. Today's action completely modernizes the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. We are cutting the federal permitting timeline from a staggering 10 years, 15 years, 18 years, 21 years -- you know the story; you've seen it -- projects that start out. A young guy heads the project. By the time it gets approved or disapproved -- in many cases, disapproved; usually disapproved -- he's getting ready to retire.
"So what did you do for your life?" "I worked on one project. We didn't get it through in the end." No, we won't get certain projects through for environmental reasons; they have to be environmentally sound. But you know what? We're going to know in a year. We're going to know in a year and a half. We're not going to know in 20 years. (Applause.)
So we're cutting the federal permitting timeline for a major project from up to 20 years or more -- hard to believe -- down to two years or less. So we have it down to about two years right now, Elaine, and I think two years or less. And our goal is one year. And you may get disapproved. It may -- they may vote, at the end, they didn't like something environmentally or safety-wise, and I'm all for that, but you're not going to devote a lifetime to doing a project that doesn't get approved or that gets approved.
And oftentimes, when it gets approved, it comes in at 10, 20, 30 times the cost. There's a highway in a certain state -- a short road, not even a highway, I guess; more of a roadway. And they put in. It was a straight line from point to point. By the time they finished it, 18 years later, it was this. (Gestures a wavy line.) It cost tens of times. It cost many, many, many times more than the original. It's a dangerous roadway because there's turns. You got to be in good shape. You got to be wide awake to make those turns. You got to see those things. You have to see the guardrails. Bom. They had a simple, straight roadway, and now they build it -- they end up -- it took 17 years to get it approved. Ended up costing many, many times what the original estimates were, and it's no good. It's not good.
Under the last administration, a mere 7 percent of reviews for federal highways were processed within two years. Now what we're doing is the two years won't be the exception; it’ll be the rule. So what we're doing is, we're going to have that coming down at a much steeper rate. This will reduce approval times for highways alone by at least 70 percent. But the 70 percent is a very unambitious number because the number is going to be actually much lower than that.
At the heart of the reforms is the One Federal Decision policy. It really spells it out when you hear that name: One Federal Decision. Before, applicants for infrastructure permits were forced to spend years and years navigating a labyrinth of federal agencies, and every single one had a power to stop a project. Anytime you went to an agency, they had a power to stop it. And it would stop the project -- not only stop it; but right in its tracks it would stop it.
With our reforms, there will be one quick and fair decision. We're going to give every project a clear answer: Yes or no. Yes or no. The two-year process, where just to submit is two years, is not acceptable. It's going to be a very quick “yes” or “no,” after study, but the studies are going to go quickly and they're going to go simultaneously.
So if you're in numerous agencies, you're all going at the same time. Instead of waiting for one, for two, for three -- and oftentimes, you'd go through one, it would take you six months, and then you have to wait 90 days, and then you have a review period, and then you start the second one. And now you go for another four months, and then you wait 90 days, and you have a review period. And sometimes you had to go through 9, 10, 12 different agencies. So even if you did absolute rapid, it was many, many years before you could even think about starting it.
We have up here, by the way -- that's a chart of the old system and the new system. And I think the new system is better. (Applause.) I think it's better not only in time; I think it's better in terms of the process, and I think it's better in terms of the importance from an environmental and a safety standpoint.
But take a look at that. This is what you had to go through. In fact, it was much more dramatic when I first came up with this about a year ago. We took that and we rolled it out. It was so dramatic. And it just kept going and going. So the difference is that. And many of those steps, you had to wait before you could even think about going to the next one, and you had to get full approvals.
Any one of those colors, where there was a problem or a rejection, meant it was dead. And now you go through this very simple, but very comprehensive solution. And it's a beautiful thing, especially if you understand construction and building, and other things beyond building, like I do.
At the same time, we'll maintain America's gold standard environmental protections. The United States will continue to have among the very cleanest air and cleanest water on Earth -- which we do now. We have the cleanest that we've ever had, meaning ever; meaning, I guess, in the last 40 years. I assume that 200 years ago, it was cleaner. I can imagine it was very clean a couple of hundred years ago, Brian, right? They'll say -- that's why I'm very careful with the fake news media because if I say that -- “We have the cleanest water we've ever had,” they say, "What about 200 years ago before anybody touched the lake, when the lake was a beautiful virgin, like nobody ever touched it?" They said -- yeah, they got me on that one, don't they, huh? So now I become extremely careful.
So I always like -- so I say, "probably." They're talking about 35, 40 years -- something like that. If it's any different from that, media, we will -- look at all those people back there. Any different than that, we will report to you. We will make an amendment. We will -- we'll never make a correction, because I don't like doing that.
One of the first projects accelerated by these reforms will be the planned expansion of I-75 right here in Georgia. That's in honor of your wife, in honor of Marty. (Applause.) Okay? That's in honor of Marty. They've been looking to do that for many years. Right? But the Governor is going to get it done. This expansion will add 77 new lane miles
With us today is Julian Paulk, a Teamster -- I know the Teamsters very well -- at UPS, who drives this route often. Julian, please come up and tell your story, please. Thank you. (Applause.)
MR. PAULK: Good afternoon. Hi, my name is Julian Paulk. It’s a great honor to be in front. (Applause.) I'm especially grateful for my wife being here with me today of 14 years. (Applause.)
I spent the first 16 years of my career driving a package car, going from house to house. But in my last three years, I've been in the big rigs, mostly on 75. And throughout 75, we have approximately 765 trucks in metro Atlanta; 64 of those travel from McDonough to Macon, Georgia, which is about 100 miles roundtrip. So with the congestion and all of that, it kind of makes it to where it's hard to get there and create all the time commits.
So every time I've loaded my truck -- whether it was medical equipment, a gift to someone -- you know, a loved one -- that time in transit was very important.
So with this infrastructure, it’s very important to me and all of my fellow UPSers because the investment in our roads and bridges help reduce congestion and open up the bottlenecks, which makes it easier to get the packages where they need to go. More importantly, safer drivers, like myself -- because we all know the most important stop of the day is when I get back home to her and my two beautiful kids. (Applause.) So -- thank you.
Fourteen years ago, at my local hub in Forest Park, with the support of my management team, I started the corporate Health and Safety Process. And throughout that team, we were able to lower the accidents and injuries, which we know accidents on the road slows down time in transit. So we able to -- since then, we've stopped all of that, or most of it.
So I'd like to close by saying thank you to my wife for being here; to everyone that has supported me, especially my division manager, Tom Rossolillo -- he has supported me in my career -- and for the grateful opportunity to be here today. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Fantastic job. Fantastic job. Thank you, Julian. But, Julian, it looks like you're attributing a lot of your success to your wife. Is that a correct statement?
MR. PAULK: Absolutely.
THE PRESIDENT: Huh?
MR. PAULK: Absolutely.
THE PRESIDENT: Would you please stand up? So lovely. (Applause.) Thank you. That's great. Great job. You're proud of the job he just did, I think, huh? Pretty good. He'll be running for office next week. Watch. (Laughter.) Great job, Julian. Thank you.
I'd like to invite UPS’s Vice President of Corporate Transportation Bill Taylor up to say a few words. Please, Bill. (Applause.) Thank you, Bill. Thank you very much.
MR. TAYLOR: Good afternoon. Thank you for visiting the UPS Gateway, President Trump. Thank you very much. You know, I am so proud to be a 37-year veteran of this great company.
I started my UPS career as a part-time hourly employee when I was still in school, back in 1983. When I graduated from college, I went into management. And throughout my career, I've had the opportunity to work in our airline, in our freight transportation operations, and also in our package delivery operations throughout the United States. I'm now preparing to retire.
When I think about UPS -- you know, all of us at UPS -- and Julian is a great example -- all of us at UPS work through some very tough times through our careers, whether it's hurricanes and natural disasters or some type of national event like 9/11 and now COVID-19. But all of us at UPS also look at that as a great opportunity to serve this great country and help bring the country through and remedy those tough situations.
You look at Project Airbridge under the Trump administration and working directly with FEMA -- another great example. From a UPS standpoint, we are all tremendously proud to help deliver lifesaving supplies wherever and whenever they are needed. From an infrastructure standpoint, I know firsthand that improvements in our infrastructure will be a tremendous benefit to not only our customers, but also the communities that we serve.
But when I think about UPS, I know how strong our technology is, I know how strong our flexible multimodal transportation network is. And I know all UPSers are dedicated to making a difference and helping bring America forward.
So as I think about ending my career, I am very grateful to retire with a strong pension plan. I hope the same for all essential workers who have a pension plan currently hung up -- that they can enjoy the same when their work is over.
So thank you, UPS, for a wonderful career and the great opportunity to work with so many wonderful people through the years to help make a difference.
Thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Bill, and good luck. Carol, I don't think I'd let him retire. He looks -- he’s got about 30 years left in him at UPS. Can't believe you're retiring. That's terrible. Do you want to retire or do you want to stay? Because they'll renew you for 25 more years? You've got it. (Laughter.) You've done a fantastic job. Thank you very much. Thank you, Bill. (Applause.) Really great job.
Here as well is the Commissioner of Georgia Department of Transportation, Russell McMurry. Russell, please come up and say a few words. Thank you. (Applause.)
MR. MCMURRY: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, it was an honor for me to meet with you in Washington, D.C. at the USDOT with Secretary Elaine Chao and some other state DOT commissioners from around the nation for us to share with you this long, burdensome, often bureaucratic process. And you sat and listened to us with great detail that day.
And today -- at the end of that meeting too, I might add, the President told us, the DOT commissioners there in the room, that he was going to streamline the environmental process, cut the red tape, and make sure that the environment is protected, number one.
So today is a full circle day for me, Mr. President -- that here we are today with the President and the Trump administration rolling out yet another -- not the first, but another environmental process improvement that will make life much easier for people like us at the departments of transportation across the nation to deliver infrastructure projects like the I-75 commercial vehicle lanes, to move that freight out of Savannah to Atlanta and beyond, while providing a safe corridor for the many families that travel on I-75.
Now, I certainly want to acknowledge someone else that is laser-focused on streamlining government and cutting red tape, and that's our governor, Brian Kemp. (Applause.) Governor, I appreciate your focus to transportation and infrastructure. It certainly makes my life a lot easier. So, thank you.
Now, finally, I'd just like to recognize somebody else -- and the President acknowledged her earlier -- but the leadership exemplified by Secretary Elaine Chao at the USDOT is exceptional. We have never experienced the kind of cooperation -- (applause) -- we, at the Georgia DOT, has never experienced this type of cooperation from your administration, Mr. President, that we enjoy today.
So thank you for your leadership. And thank you for the partnership you share, not only with Georgia but all the states. Mr. President, thank you for making this happen. Thank you. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: And Russell said that so well because there have been many steps that we've made over the course of the last three years that allowed us to get to this big giant step. This is a big deal. And this is front page all over this country. And, frankly, nobody realizes what it means other than the people that are in this room and others that do what you do.
But the fact is this is something that nobody thought was possible. But it was all those little steps, Russell, that allowed us to get to this step bureaucratically and in every other way. So thank you very much. And you've done a great job. Appreciate it. (Applause.)
We're also joined by Janelle King, a small-business owner here in Atlanta. Janelle, please come up and say a few words, please. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you very much.
MS. KING: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Governor Kemp. And thank you, UPS, for delivering all my shoes on time. (Laughs.) (Applause.)
I am Janelle King. Together, my husband Kelvin King and I -- he's the one that really goes through all of this -- I serve as VP of External Affairs with Osprey Management, which is such an honor. We have 10 employees that are -- by which one of them received their United States citizenship this morning. So that's awesome. (Applause.)
We have over 150 subcontractors. We have -- and we have a number of projects that are taking place throughout the state. And our ability to harness opportunities and supply our clients with on-time projects promptly is extremely important. Several have proposed fantastic ideas of aid to developing new forms of commuting. Red tape and restrictions in place have hindered these ideas, and have extensive -- due to extensive permitting and impact studies that increase timelines.
But, Mr. President, you have shown what leadership can do when you reform the old way of doing things. Infrastructure reform and building new roads faster will not only help our company to achieve our project goals, but they will help the entire state, both economically and socially.
So I would like to personally thank you for placing the needs of the constituents in the forefront of your list and addressing our infrastructure concerns; and our governor and first lady for are working along with you, and so we can get this done; and to our senators -- Senator David Perdue and Senator Kelly Loeffler -- for always being available as well.
Thank you so much. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Great job. Good job. And look how proud your husband is of you. He had that camera up. That camera wasn't moving down. I’ll tell you. He captured every word. That's great. Beautiful family. Thank you very much.
One of the things I'll tell you that -- the Governor and I are working on a couple of projects that are going to be big surprises for you -- big ones, big projects that you've been talking about for 20 years, I guess, in one case. So we'll get them done. I'm sure we'll get them done.
And I want to thank you all. Great presentations. Thank you all very much.
My administration is also moving full speed ahead on improving the Port of Savannah, which is now the largest agriculture exporting port in the entire United States. (Applause.) Largest in the country. As many of you know, this project faced 20 years of unnecessary delays. This has been going on for years. And when they came to me, and the Governor said, “Can you help us with this?” -- I said, “We'll help you with it. What's the story?”
It's been going on for years and years. They've been talking about it; nothing ever happened. It was also eight years of additional bureaucratic reviews. Just reviews. This isn’t like, “Oh, gee, let's start digging.” This is paperwork. People made a lot of money. It's a terrible thing. It just gets caught up like so many other places. But it's all ending now.
Bureaucratic reviews under the Obama-Biden administration have been a disaster, and they got worse. But I'm proud to report that for three straight years under my administration, we've delivered full funding for the Port of Savannah. And we're on track to complete the project in a very short period of time. It's going to be completed, right? -- okay? -- (applause) -- in honor of the governor. In honor the governor and Marty. Good. Congratulations. That was a great job. They've been fighting for that one for a long time. You got it done.
We want a governor that gets it done. Even though he calls me all the time, “Can we get it done? Can we…” I wish you wouldn't call so much. (Laughter.) But, you know, that's the sign of a good governor, right? When you think, right? Stand up, please. That's a sign of a governor. (Applause.)
I like the ones that don't call, Brian, where they just leave me alone. But their project never happens. (Laughter.) Great job you do. Great job.
We want the United States to compete and win in the 21st century. And that means we will not allow our nation to be hamstrung by wasteful Washington regulations.
We’re the nation that built the Golden Gate Bridge in four years, the Hoover Dam in five years, and a lot of people don't understand this, but it's so true: We built the Empire State Building in less than a year. Can you imagine that?
The Biden administration, our past Vice President, opposes -- think of this -- all of our permitting reforms, and wants to increase the length of the permitting process. Think of this. This is in his Bernie Sanders deal.
Biden is happy to tie up projects in red tape, and we want to get things built. But they want to increase the length. So they want to increase it from that to much longer. Unbelievable.
Biden wants to massively re-regulate the energy economy, rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, which would kill our energy totally. And you'd have to close 25 percent of your businesses and kill oil and gas development. They still haven't explained what they're going to do to power our great plants and factories, but at some point, I'm sure they will. We'll learn that from AOC, who's in charge of energy. (Laughter.) She's in charge, along with Bernie. It's AOC and Bernie are in charge of energy. I don't think Texas is too happy about that. What do you think? You think we'll call up the governor, Governor Abbott. Great governor. We’ll ask, “How do you like that, Governor?” I don't think -- I didn't want to waste a phone call because I would know how he felt.
And Biden wants to hold hostage billions in federal Surface Transportation Grants for states and localities, unless the states and local suburban communities abolish single-family zoning rules. So they want low-income housing to be built in communities that, frankly, they don't want it. They don't want it. Hasn’t worked out. And we're terminating that, as you know. I announced it two weeks ago. We're going to be eliminating that rule. It's a crazy rule and it’s very unfair to a lot of people. A lot of people are very unhappy.
It should not take 10 years or more just to get approval for a simple stretch of road. Special interests in Washington will never begin -- they will never begin to let you breathe. They will never -- that’s not their business. Their business is the opposite. And we will do vetoes wherever necessary in order to make sure everything happens, and happens quickly. We're not giving a veto for one thing: America's future. There will never be a veto for America’s future. (Applause.)
So my goal, my mission, and my commitment to each of you is very simple: America's infrastructure will be the envy of the entire world, as it was many, many years ago.
We built the Interstate Highway System during the Eisenhower administration -- a long time ago. And since then, it's gotten worse and worse and worse, and more bureaucratic and more bureaucratic. And now we're freeing up and we're going back probably to around 1952. We're going back to a long time ago.
And again, you have to get permits. We want safety. We want to be totally involved with the environment. We want our environment to be better than it would be the other way -- the long way. But you're going to get your answers quickly. One way or the other, you're going to get those answers very quickly. And if the answer is a big, beautiful “yes,” you're going to start construction immediately. You're not going to wait around for 10, 12, and 20 years.
Our bridges, tunnels, freeways, and airports will no longer be the sight of shame, but they'll be a source of pride. From coast to coast, town to town, we're constructing new roads, railways, runways, and waterways.
You know, we had a -- in many cases where they'll get federal funding to build a highway, then it'll take them forever to get the approval. And by the time they have it approved, they need 10 times more money. They come back to the federal government, and the government would usually turn them down. They'd say, "That wasn’t the deal." But sometimes they'd just pay 10 times more. We're not going to do that anymore.
We're linking our cities with gleaming highways and blazing-fast
So we're getting fast broadband networks, and we're carving them out and towering beautiful new monuments to American greatness. And that’s what they will be. But our farmers have to be thought of also. Nobody thought of our farmers. Our farmers are incredible, and they're doing an incredible job. (Applause.) Doing an incredible job.
So for the farmers out there: Broadband, here we come. Broadband -- they've been trying to get it for a long time. Many years. (Applause.)
Together, we're building our incredible future with American hands, American heart, and American steel. As your President, I am more determined than ever that America’s infrastructure will be second to none.
And in Georgia, you're going to have an infrastructure and you're going to have some projects announced that almost all of the people in this room do not know about. Most people have given up on them, Brian, I think. They've given up. They gave up with the rest of them. But we have some things planned in Georgia that'll be really incredible. And everybody is going to want it, both Democrat, by the way, and Republican.
The problem is nobody was able to get it done. We get it done. One thing I know: I know how to get things done. Because under this administration -- (applause) -- and under this administration, we will always put America first. We were putting other countries first; now we're putting America first.
So I want to thank everybody for being here. I want to thank and congratulate UPS on having a great run -- many years, but a great run recently. You've done a fantastic job, whether it's the SkyBridge or anything else that we've done with you. You've been fantastic. I want to apprec- -- I really appreciate it.
But especially, I appreciate a state called Georgia. It's a special place. It's a great place. (Applause.) And it's an honor to be with you, and it's an honor -- this is where I'm announcing. This is good for the whole country, not only Georgia. This is for the whole country. But I'm announcing it in Georgia because we have some great things planned for you. You are special people.
Mr. Governor, thank you very much. Marty, thank you very much. Everybody, thank you. Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you very much, everybody. Have a good time. Thank you.
END 4:23 P.M. EDT
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP IS MODERNIZING FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS TO ACCELERATE AMERICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN BRIEFING ON KEEPING AMERICAN COMMUNITIES SAFE: THE TAKEDOWN OF KEY MS-13 CRIMINAL LEADERS