Press Release: Dennis Ross Hails Passage of Bipartisan "Balanced Approach," Looks Forward to Jobs Bill Heading to the Floor

Press Release

By:  Dennis Ross
Date: June 6, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Dennis Ross, today welcomed passage of HR 4377 the RAPID Act (The Responsibly and professionally Invigorating Development Act) out of the Judiciary Committee. Congressman Ross, along with Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN), Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Chairman Howard Coble (R-NC) introduced HR 4377 to put Americans back to work.

The RAPID Act will unleash over $1 trillion in stalled projects, estimated to create over 1.9 million new jobs[1].

Upon passage of this bill, Congressman Ross said, "I want to thank Congressman Peterson for his courage and support of working men and women in America. I also want to thank my Chairman, Mr. Smith, for his leadership and dedication to growing our economy and putting Americans back to work. Lastly, I want to thank my distinguished friend from North Carolina, Mr. Coble, no better fighter for the working families of North Carolina."

Mr. Ross continued, "Today's passage of this bipartisan jobs bill clearly shows that not all Republicans are against clean air and clear water and not all Democrats are against American business and entrepreneurs. With the reforms embodied in the RAPID Act, we can strike a balance between environmental review and job creation. We can ensure clean and safe development, while preserving open spaces and giving everyone a seat at the table. We can grow our economy at the same time we grow our natural beauty. I look forward to a healthy debate on the floor and passage of these much needed reforms."

Among other reforms, the RAPID Act:

Sets a 4.5 year-maximum deadline to complete the review process, including an 18 month maximum for the Environmental Assessment and 36 month maximum for an Environmental Impact Statement
Establishes a 180-day statute of limitations and a "get in or get out" rule that requires interested parties to comment and involve themselves early on in the process to maintain standing to bring a lawsuit later
Allows lead agencies to accept existing relevant environmental documents, including those prepared under state laws that satisfy or exceed National Environmental Policy Act standards
Adopts established concepts, definitions and best practices to ensure that the federal review and permitting process is efficient and transparent
For Florida, the projects identified would create the following economic impact[2]:

Benefits from Proposed Energy Projects

Upfront Investment (total of all projects)

Total Economic Output (in PDV) $80,500,000,000
Employment Earnings (in PDV) $27,400,000,000
Average Annual Jobs 121,300

First Year of Operations (total of all projects)

Total Economic Output (in PDV) $8,600,000,000
Employment Earnings (in PDV) $2,200,000,000
Average Jobs Created in Year 1 53,100

Dennis Ross, son of Bill and Loyola Ross, was born in 1959 and raised in Lakeland, Florida. He graduated from Auburn University and the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He has served as in-house counsel to the Walt Disney Company and as an associate of the law firm of Holland & Knight. Prior to serving in Congress, he owned and operated his own law firm, Ross Vecchio PA, specializing in Workers' Compensation defense. He previously served in the Florida Legislature from 2000 until being term limited in 2008. Dennis and his wife, Cindy Hartley, were married in 1983 and have two sons, Shane and Travis.

In the 112th Congress, Dennis serves on the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform (Chairman of the Federal Workforce, Postal Service & Labor Policy Subcommittee) as well as the Education & the Workforce and Judiciary Committees.