August 09, 2023


Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce relaunched its bipartisan video series Common Grounds, which convenes one Republican leader and one Democratic leader over a cup of coffee to explore important issues or challenges facing the business community and the nation.

During this episodeRep. Scott Peters (D-CA-50) and Rep. John Curtis (R-UT-3) sat down for a chat with U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Evan Jenkins. Together, they discussed the necessity of reforming America’s permitting process and the benefits it can have on the nation’s strength and competitiveness.  

Large improvement projects and infrastructure investments are imperative to moving the nation’s economy forward. These projects span from highway and bridge improvement to safe drinking water and expanded broadband access. However, none of these improvements can be made without the permitting process— which, in its antiquated state, tends to delay projects for extended periods.

“This can't be business as usual; business as usual takes too long,” Rep. Curtis said during the conversation. “I love to see a warp-speed permitting reform developed. And I think we could find some common ground about not even changing any rules, but just moving things through quicker… To the extent that Republicans can be realistic [and] Democrats can be realistic, there is a lot of common ground ahead for us.”

“This is the unusual case where you have got to make the problem bigger,” Rep. Peters said. “There's so many different people who want permit reform for a particular purpose, it almost seems like a bill that takes care of everyone has got the best chance of passing… We have to be open to really trying to put something together that gets broad support because we've dealt with the issue in a really broad way.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Chamber launched the Permit America to Build campaign, which brought together over 350 organizations—representing every sector of our economy and corner of the country— to encourage Congress to pass meaningful, durable permitting reform legislation.

To watch today’s conversation and stay up to date on upcoming episodes, visit Common Grounds.