Monday, March 26, 2012

Speaker Boehner Bemoans Lack Of Earmarks To “Grease” Highway Bill

House Tea Party freshman who want to get the federal government completely out of the business of funding surface transportation construction and repair are making it impossible for Speaker Boehner to muster enough votes for passage of the Senate’s bipartisan two year, $109 billion reauthorization bill for the federal Highway Trust Fund. Bemoaning his inability to push more than a temporary three month extension through the House, Boehner told a reporter “When it comes to things like the highway bill, which used to be very bipartisan, you have to understand it was greased to be bipartisan with 6,371 earmarks. You take the earmarks away and guess what? All of a sudden people are beginning to look at the real policy behind it.”

With as many as 1.8 million transportation construction and repair jobs at risk March 31, 2012, when the current short term funding bill expires, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said as recently as Thursday he is “not inclined” to go along with any House passed short term extension measure: “Over in a big, dark hole we now refer to as the tea party dominated House of Representatives … they destroyed their own bill, and now they won’t agree to take up our bill. House Republicans are going to have to feel the heat of the America people.”

This lack of leadership on both sides of the aisles in both houses of Congress is simply astonishing. For our elected leaders to be playing chicken with the employment of nearly two million citizens while there are only four days left for action is inexcusable. Hasn’t Congressional fooling around with the construction sector of the American economy gone far enough already?
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