Senate Debating House’s $7B Trust Fund Fix, With 4 GOP Amendments

The Senate began debate this morning on the $7 billion rescue of the nation’s highway trust fund that was passed by the House late yesterday, with four GOP amendments slated for a vote.

first proposal, from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), would replenish federal
highway programs with unused money from the $787 billion economic
stimulus law, as opposed to funds from the general Treasury.

began by echoing a lament of many sustainable transport advocates —
that the stimulus spent a paltry 3.5 percent on infrastructure — but
came to a far different conclusion: "[L]et’s do real concrete
shovel-ready projects," he said. "Let’s build roads and highways and

Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) offered an amendment
similar to Vitter’s, suggesting that un-obligated stimulus money offset
the estimated $7.5 billion in unemployment aid that is attached to the
highway trust fund fix.

Another similar proposal was filed
by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), while a technical tweak to highway contract
authority was filed by Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO). Stay tuned for updates on
today’s votes.


House GOPers Propose Filling Trust Fund With Stimulus Money

As their committee’s leaders butted heads with the Obama administration, a group of Republicans on the House transportation panel proposed to fill the $7 billion hole in the nation’s highway trust fund with unobligated money from the economic stimulus law. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) (Photo: SW Broward GOP) The bill, offered yesterday by Rep. Mario […]

Why Urban Residents Have a Bone to Pick With Vitter and Bennett

In a development that flew largely under the radar on Thursday, the Senate beat back an attempt by David Vitter (R-LA) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) to add a citizenship question to the 2010 U.S. Census, with the goal of no longer counting non-citizens as part of states’ official populations. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) (Photo: Chattahbox) […]

Senate’s $50 Billion Highway Giveaway Nearly Dead

The Inhofe/Boxer stimulus bill amendment for $50 billion in additional infrastructure funds appears to be dead, with official word expected soon from Senator Harry Reid’s office. Sources close to the negotiations say that at least five Democratic Senators were not going to support the amendment if transit and water provisions weren’t improved, while Senate Republicans […]