Another Reason Congress Must Reject the House Transportation Bill
Posted February 9, 2012 in Moving Beyond Oil
Citizens across the country are calling Congress right now, urging them to deep-six the ill-conceived transportation bill cobbled together by House Republican Leadership. There's even a handy toll-free number -- just dial 1-877-573-7693.
There are a number of reasons to do so, as the New York Times noted today. There's also a lot of dissembling from backers of the bill, including six whoppers described by streetsblog. And the funding is clearly just a shell game. First, it was drilling. Then, it was evisceration of dedicated funding for public transportation. Now? TIme to go after federal employee retirement support. The finance title for this monstrosity provides strong evidence that House Leaders are making this up as they go along, and their stumbling and bumbling is so inept it has attracted special ire from conservatives. Legislating is about addition, about building support. But this bill started with paltry backing and headed down from there.
And here's another reason to oppose the bill, if you're interested in transportation investments: 45 of 50 states lose money compared to the status quo under this bill. The only winners are Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska and Wyoming. The biggest losers of highway money are:
- California (losing almost $725 million);
- Florida (losing more than $880 million);
- Illinois (losing more than $884 million);
- Louisiana (losing more than $531 million);
- Missouri (losing more than $721 million);
- Montana (losing more than $516 million);
- New York (losing more than $605 million);
- Pennsylvania (losing more than $948 million); and
- WIsconsin (losing more than $621 million).
The picture is more mixed with transit, with 32 states nominally receiving more support. But this is funny money, since the House swipes dedicated funding entirely from transit in its bill. For more details see the breakdowns provided by the Federal Highway and Transit Administrations to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee staff (pdf here). Please call 877-573-7693 now to urge your Member of Congress to oppose this bill.
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