Breaking News: House leadership scraps 5 year transportation billFebruary 23, 2012
By Stephen Lee Davis
The twitter feeds of those who follow the crossroads of transportation and D.C. politics just blew up a few minutes ago with news first broken by CQ’s Kathy Wolfe (but linkable here at Roll Call) that Speaker Boehner and House Leadership have shelved their 5-year transportation bill in favor of a possible 2-year proposal — as well as potentially dropping the controversial provision that would eliminate dedicated public transportation funding.
It’s far too early to confirm all the details at this point — the story quotes Boehner’s spokesperson saying that a “revamp” is in the works but the rest of the news is sourced to an anonymous senior GOP aide in the House — and it could be an attempt by House leadership to feel out in which direction they need to head to find a way forward for their troubled bill.
The aide says that this change to transit funding (i.e, elimination of it) could be “postponed.”
That would be welcome news and most certainly a big improvement to the House bill, though it’s hardly the only outstanding issue with the House’s proposal as it currently stands. (Read about the top 10 issues with the bill here.) There are also reports that a shorter bill could even be smaller, sized to existing gas tax revenues, but it’s too early to know what direction they’ll go in.
The bill could very well end up being shelved, which would be preferred to passing a bill with so many issues.
But we at T4 America don’t want to celebrate the demise of a bad transportation bill, we want to continue to work with the hundreds of local partner organizations and tens of thousands of our grassroots members to support the passage of a strong transportation bill that moves us forward into a new era of transportation, puts people to work, gets us where we need to go and lays the groundwork for decades of prosperity.
We’ll be keeping a hopeful eye on developments in the House to see if they move forward with fixing some of the issues that have fostered so much opposition.