Democrats Release Partisan Highway Bill That Focuses On Far-Left Priorities
Yesterday, Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee released an 864-page highway bill that was crafted without any input from Republicans, and does more to achieve far-left agenda items like the Green New Deal than it does to address infrastructure challenges.
- Roll Call: “Democrats offer $494 billion transport bill targeting economy, climate”
- Bloomberg: “House Democrats Unveil Highway Bill, Absent Plan to Pay”
The proposal embraces the far-left policies that states like California and New York have adopted, proposing rewards for those who ride bikes, scooters, and utilize metro rail systems, while imposing new challenges on the millions of Americans who continue to drive on our roads each day.
Under this proposal, rail systems such as the WMATA in Washington, D.C. – which has been mired by debt, service delays, and deadly incidents – could eligible for billions of dollars in federal funding and would receive a 100% federal match for new construction, meaning that taxpayer dollars would be going to fund metro rail systems in large cities. In addition, this bill allows bike-sharing and scooter-sharing programs to be eligible for federal taxpayer money, while shifting the share of highway funding dedicated for rural communities towards large urban areas.
Following the release of this legislation, the T&I Committee’s Leading Republican Sam Graves (R-MO), along with Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Ranking Member Rick Crawford (R-AR) released the following joint statement:
“Democrats and Republicans alike know the only way to complete a reauthorization is if we work together. For decades, that’s been the proven formula for successfully producing surface transportation laws. Unfortunately, driven by the Speaker’s partisan agenda, Committee Republicans were not involved in the development of this bill.
“We stood at the ready to work all year, since releasing our six infrastructure principles in January: ensuring state flexibility, focusing on core programs, streamlining the review process, addressing rural infrastructure needs, incorporating new technologies, and fixing the Highway Trust Fund for the long-term.
“However, we were not given the opportunity to address any of our priorities in this legislation. For example, today’s partisan bill lacks critical flexibility for the states, its outsized funding increases for urban areas will leave rural America even further behind, and numerous new green mandates and extreme progressive goals are woven throughout the fabric of new and existing core programs.
“We also need to consider what our economy is going through because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of America’s workers, including those in the transportation sector, continue to grapple with our new, complex, and evolving reality. We believe a rapid seismic shift in our transportation programs will add to the already considerable uncertainty in an industry struggling for its survival.
“Although today’s bill does not reflect our input, Committee Republicans will continue to work with the Senate, stakeholders, and any Member of both parties to ensure our priorities are addressed as the legislative process moves forward.”
Democrats Call For Radical Energy Solutions In Coronavirus Response Legislation
More than 35 House Democrats signed on to a letter calling for green-energy initiatives to be included in the next legislative package responding to COVID-19.
- The Hill: “Democrats call for green energy relief in next stimulus package”
Democrats have repeatedly sought to use this pandemic as an opportunity to try and enact their radical agenda:
- Rep. Clyburn called this crisis a, “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
- Rep. Jayapal called on her party to use critical PPP funding as “leverage” to secure other priorities
- Speaker Pelosi – on multiple occasions – proposed far-left legislation that even her own members called a “wishlist” since it had nothing to do with responding to COVID-19 and stood no chance of becoming law.
Their party continues to put their political priorities before the interest of the nation by pushing partisan legislation that would weaken the country while we face a public health and economic crisis. They cannot be trusted with the responsibility of governing.