Buckle your seatbelts – It’s a rough road ahead for House Republicans this week!
Faced with backlash from both sides of the aisle against their monstrosity of a transportation bill that destroys 550,000 jobs and bankrupts the Highway Trust Fund, Speaker Boehner and the Republican majority now plan to break up the legislation into three pieces.
But that won’t stop the reviews from piling up on the Boehner Expressway:
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood: “This is the most partisan transportation bill that I have ever seen…It’s the worst transportation bill I’ve ever seen during 35 years of public service.”
Los Angeles Times – In the House, a transportation train wreck: “…it is less a serious policy document than a wish list for oil lobbyists, and its funding proposals are so radical that they have been decried even by such conservative watchdogs as the Reason Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Taxpayers for Common Sense.”
Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall: “The Republican Leadership’s partisan signature ‘jobs’ bill is not sustainable, and would lead America’s transportation programs down a reckless path toward bankruptcy…There is no doubt we need to pass a long-term bill that creates certainty, but the only thing this bill does is make certain the Highway Trust Fund will go belly up even before the end of the bill.”
Tampa Tribune – Road bill careening to dead end: “The new transportation bill in the U.S. House is being attacked by conservatives, liberals, moderates, transit advocates, bicyclists and environmentalists, to name a few…If you’re wondering why Congress has such trouble getting anything done, follow the progress of the House’s transportation bill as it crashes and burns.”
Chicago Business – Area GOP congressmen revolt over pending transit bill: “In a flurry of statements after several days of quiet review, U.S. Reps. Robert Dold, Judy Biggert and Adam Kinzinger — all Republicans — flatly say or strongly suggest that they cannot support the bill drafted by House GOP leadership.”
Office of GOP Rep. Steve LaTourette: “In its current formation there are lots of things we don’t like about it. If it’s not changed drastically, we’re not going to support it.”
National Resources Defense Council: “The Republican leadership has the temerity to call this horrible package a jobs bill, but it’s actually a measure that will make it impossible to pass a transportation bill – the one true jobs bill Congress could pass this year.”
Heritage Action for America CEO Michael Needham: “One of the problems you have in Washington, is you take really bad legislation, which the highway bill is, and you put a sweetener in it…That’s what’s going on here.”
Taxpayers for Common Sense – “This $260 billion bill lacks sustainable, user-based funding to pay for the nation’s transportation priorities and its costs are instead offset with budget gimmicks and speculative revenue sources.”
GOP Senator Jim Inhofe: “You can’t very well use revenues you don’t have…”
Club for Growth: “Simply put, this is a massive 846-page bill that doesn’t cut any spending at all…”
New York Times – A Terrible Transportation Bill: “The list of outrages coming out of the House is long, but the way the Republicans are trying to hijack the $260 billion transportation bill defies belief.”
Streetsblog – House Transpo Bill Turns Communities Into Collateral Damage: “This proposal takes sound transportation policy, covers it with oil, sets it on fire, and then dances on the ashes.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – House Transportation Bill Doesn’t Deserve Passage: A transportation bill in the House is moving forward despite waves of criticism from both left and right…there are too many things wrong with this bill to approve it as is. It should be scrapped.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “[Republicans] have a bill that’s a love note to the tea party.”
Newsday – Keep up support for transit: “Despite decades of consistent, reliable federal support for mass transit, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives is trying to pass a transportation bill that would break that commitment. That would be catastrophic for our region…”
Amalgamated Transit Union International: "The House once again walked away from the prospect of preserving urban mobility…”
The Sacramento Bee – U.S. House throws transit under a bus: “If [House Republicans] have their way, the nation’s transportation network will take a giant step backward to a ‘roads only’ policy for dedicated funding…Americans should urge their members of Congress to reject it.”
Detroit Free Press – Renew the transportation bill, then start the hard work to improve it: “…as bad as the inept inaction of Congress has been, a new House Republican plan that would remove mass transit money from the shelter of the Highway Trust Fund is even worse.”