Today’s Transportation Bill Vote
Today, I voted against final passage of the transportation bill that was considered in the Senate.
While modernizing America’s infrastructure is an important goal that government can play a role in advancing, S.1813 crashes into our nation’s hard fiscal realities and makes it impossible for me to support. The bill spends too much, at a level of $109 billion over the next two years. This is despite the fact that the Highway Trust Fund is going broke, with the Congressional Budget Office estimating that the fund will be insolvent sometime in 2013. Sadly, this is not a new issue. Taxpayers have already spent $34.5 billion to bailout the trust fund in recent years, and I see nothing in this bill that will prevent this from happening again. With our national debt on course to exceed $16 trillion by year’s end and taxpayers already struggling under the weight of Washington’s fiscal policies, this legislation paves the way towards yet another bailout.
Instead of making reforms that empower states instead of bureaucrats in Washington, the bill relies on Washington-style accounting gimmicks and proliferates costly mandates that sharply raise the cost of highway spending to the American taxpayer. I agree with my colleagues that we need to pass a transportation bill, but not when we cannot meet the financial obligations that the bill requires. Therefore, I did not support it.