Transportation Bill Actually Not Boring

Dave Johnson

“Transportation Bill Actually Not Boring” is actually not a headline from the Onion. President Obama today urged House Republicans to please not let the “Surface Transportation Bill” expire at the end of September. Up to one million people will lose their jobs if the Republicans continue to block the renewal of this bill — which may be exactly what the Republicans want. They are demanding cuts of one-third in highway maintenance, which cuts about 600,000 jobs. So once again we have a hostage situation.

The Surface Transportation Bill, also known as the “highway bill.” funds highway maintenance, which like all infrastructure work has been underfunded for decades, as well as public transportation.

Huffington Post’s Sam Stein lays out some of the issues, in Obama To Call For Extension Of Transportation Funds Currently Set To Expire,

Discussions about specific legislation that would extend the funding has caused friction between Republicans and Democrats. … Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) … has outlined a two-year extension at the cost of $109 billion, which would keep spending at its current levels. House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair John Mica (R-Fla.), meanwhile, has pushed a six-year extension with a 34 percent reduction in the amount spent.

…according to Boxer’s office, the numerical difference in dollars spent between her plan and Mica’s is the equivalent of 630,000 jobs.

… Conservatives attacked the item as further evidence that the president couldn’t tame his spending urges, though Democrats note that the $109 billion wouldn’t be a spending increase, just a continuation of current spending levels.

Note that President Obama has proposed $556 billion over 6 years, an even higher amount that still doesn’t meet the maintenance needs of the roads, bridges, etc.

Will Republicans Block It?

There is every reason to believe that Republicans will block the extension of the highway bill, as they have been doing for months. House Speaker John Boehner is accusing President Obama of using “scare tactics” for explaining the number of jobs that failure to extend the funding will cost. Meanwhile no one is explaining the cost of failure to maintain the highways, roads, bridges and transit systems.

For a sampling of Republican resistance to extending the highway bill, look at the comments posted at the Politico story on this, President Obama urges renewal of transportation bills,

Shut it down!! Let the Government union slugs get Furloughed again, after what happened the last time with the showdown and the Democrats ultimately caving they should know by now that the Republicans mean Business and are not backing down.

Since Obama had the fat Union slob Trumka standing at his side while shaking his fist and making demands, i hope the Republicans attach some nice anti-union riders to the authorization bills….Let Obama, his Union thug pals and the Democrats in the Senate choke on them…..

No more so called “jobs bill” spending. I urge the Republican House to kill Obama’s bill at once. The last jobs bill cost 300 k per job created. If that taxpayer money was left in small business that could have been 15 good jobs. Obama just wants to create overpaid union jobs, affirmative action jobs and Davis Bacon jobs. Then they collect mandatory union dues to fund democratic candidates to run against us or engage in public relations campaigns. In my mid town they added two fireman jobs at 80 k per year when we do not need any new fireman. It was a federal fund. Why pay a 22 year old 80 k per year to basically sit in the firehouse and pump iron? Sign me up. What a waste. Return the money to the people in the form of a tax cut. No more federal jobs spending, Its a huge boondoggle, nothing but bridges to nowhere. No more bridges to nowhere. Vote republican early and often. Republicans are my heroes. They passed a spending bill with not one earmark. So diferent than Obamacare and the Cornhusker Kickback to Nelson.

This is Obama attempting another gift to the unions. If Trumka is for it…it isn’t goood for the country…just for the unions so they can fund Obama’s campaign. What a joke.

If Trumka is there it will be because he needs another Obozo Union PAYOFF!

Also, see the comments at The Hill‘s story on this, Obama: Delay in passing highway bill could cost jobs:

Let me get this straight, these “shovel-ready projects” which favor union contractors (and accordingly inflate the cost of a project by 50%) are the solution to the country’s woes. barry, barry, barry…are you sure you stopped smoking crack years ago? Our president is a brean-dead failure. UUUGGGHHH!

More taxpayer dollars for Obama’s base.

Less income for taxpayers.

Obama’s Thugocracy keeps rolling on.

Yes Congress, hurry up and pass the bill so Obama can give all the jobs to illegals w/ his new amnesty-work permits program.

Trumka is on stage with Huissein?
Allyou need to know.
The AFL CIO will try to continue to try to run the country into the ground.
Observation: There has been (since BO’s 1st stimulus) a project underway on I 95 at Cottman avenue on-ramp in Philly. All union labor. Job still not done in over 2 years . Should have been a 2 month job. Multiple times I have passed by there and workers sitting in truck doing nothing.
Trans bill purely an excuse to put money in his union constituant’s pockets (as proved bu the thug Trumka’s presence).
It did not work the 1st time, Mr Kenya. We wont be fooled again.

Having Richard Trumka standing by Obama in the Rose Garden pretty much tells you all you need to know about the Highway Bill: Taxpayer funded money going to unions. Before anyone passes any highway legislation, there ought to be a transparent reconciliation of the Stimulus Bill just to ascertain how many shovel ready infrastructure projects actually received funding. The next item on the Obama “to do” list should be demanding that the democrats in the Senate pass a budget that has been better than two years in the works.

 

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