It’s happening again. Just one month ago, Sen. Coburn (R-OK) failed in his efforts to strip funding for Transportation Enhancements from the six-month transportation extension.
Now, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is taking the lead in trying to destroy Transportation Enhancements. On November 1, the Senate will finalize the transportation appropriations bill, which sets funding levels for FY2012. Sen. Paul has offered an amendment to redirect all funding for Transportation Enhancements to bridge repair. Here’s why his arguments don’t make sense.
This is the third time in a month that a small group of Senators have targeted Transportation Enhancements, using a different angle each time. It is a red herring, and a waste of the Senate’s time and taxpayers dollars to focus on this small and valuable program when we are in dire need of real and viable solutions to fix our failing transportation system.
We agree on the need to keep our bridges safe, but the lives of pedestrians and cyclists are important too. That is why we believe Senator Paul should withdraw his amendment now and let the Senate EPW Committee, which has jurisdiction over writing the next transportation bill, do their job. The Committee is actually scheduled to mark-up their bill on November, 9. That is the appropriate time to discuss changes to the overall transportation program, not during the appropriations process.
League Policy Director
Flusche joined the League in April 2009 and has a B.A. in history from Syracuse University and a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in public policy analysis from New York University.