The GOP transportation proposal is now online.
Here are some early reactions.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chair of the Senate Banking subcommittee with jurisdiction over public transportation: “It used to be that Republicans understood that transportation investment was necessary to spur economic growth and create jobs. Now, I guess they think if we give the rich enough tax breaks they will get off the golf course, get in a bulldozer, and start building roads.”
Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), chair of the full Senate Banking Committee: “Transit systems are one of the most efficient and reliable forms of transportation… Proposals to cut public transportation funding, as contemplated in the House, won’t just make it harder for Americans to get to a job interview or the grocery store; cuts will also slow job growth at a time when we need it most. Construction workers, mechanics, employees of bus manufacturers and rail car suppliers, and many other hard-working Americans will lose their jobs if these cuts occur.”
Caron Whitaker, campaign director of America Bikes: “The Mica bill is short-sighted; it focuses on cuts rather than return on investment. The bicycling industry supports over a million jobs and brings in over $17 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. That’s a great return for the $700 million federal investment in biking and walking facilities.”
James Corless, director of Transportation for America: “Chairman Mica’s proposal to give states broader latitude needs strong provisions for accountability on national goals, such as economic prosperity, energy independence, equal access to opportunity and environmental stewardship. However, this emphasis on the state level cannot come at the expense of the places that are feeling the brunt of our inadequate investments to this point: local communities in both urban and rural locales. We are particularly concerned at the proposal to eliminate dedicated funding that helps provide more safe options for walking and biking. While Chairman Mica indicated an intent to preserve the historic share of 20 percent for transit, the overall effect is a devastating cut that leaves us well short of the amounted required to meet rising demand for transit service, especially in this time of severe fiscal constraints.”