Category Archives: transportation bill

Two of Everything

We have two versions of every bill introduced in Congress these days. There is never in this Congress any discussion of compromise. The House version is usually the Republican version; the Senate version is often the Democrat’s version. The Republican bill cannot pass the Senate, the Senate bill cannot pass in the House; so we have gridlock. This has been so frustrating and, I believe, damaging and the American people should be much angrier than we are. Our elected President has never been accepted by the Republicans, even though, once elected, he should have been treated with respect. We have been treated to a never-ending reelection campaign that began just after Barack Obama took office. That’s twice that the Republican party has hijacked the Presidency of America; the first time we got George Walker Bush for 8 years and now we have had 4 years of vituperation. The Republican Party is way out of line and they are trying to take over power in America by force so that they can give free rein to their extreme agenda. America is not better for this bitter, inexorable war on the correct and democratic political procedures that have always been America’s strength. What we may be seeing is the second American Civil War.
There have been many examples of this subterranean warfare throughout the last four years and the current farcical treatment of the transportation bill is just another battle in this ongoing war. America is suffering because we are being held in limbo until the Republicans can get find the proper hold that will bring the Democrats to the mats. Isn’t it time to call “time’s up”? How many holds do they get to try? Meanwhile the potholes in our roads are getting large enough to blow up our tires or even cause us to lose control of our vehicles. Our bridges are dropping sections of concrete onto the roadways below and the supports are corroded and rusted. People need jobs but the Republicans believe that only drilling for oil is an appropriate way to provide those jobs.
Republicans want to cut funding to mass transit and bike lanes and send funding to drilling for oil anywhere and everywhere, even in ANWR (Alaska). This is completely in line with their belief that environmental concerns are just hokum meant to stymie big business and that our earth needs no protection from the assault of billions of humans and our attempts to survive and thrive on this planet. They do not accept that we have neglected our duties as the caretakers of the planet in favor of personal comfort and that we are in danger of causing permanent damage to the planet. They insist that we continue to plunder earth’s resources so that we can maintain the lifestyle we currently have in the forms that it currently takes. They are correct in stating that we will have to use fossil fuels for the foreseeable future because we just have no other alternative available that will support our current lifestyle.  However, they are shortsighted in not accepting the facts which confirm that we must also look for alternative sources of energy and work with them until they are effective and affordable.
So our roads and bridges and railroads languish into disrepair and obsolescence. We have the same system we have basically had and built onto since the 19th century. We have our superhighways from the 50’s. States are unable to plan projects that are at all futuristic because the transportation bill is continued for two months at a time and plans cannot be made without some promise of long term support and without some definite budget commitments. There is no 5 year plan, no 10 year plan, just the usual tar trucks that visit us each summer and patch the potholes. When will we be able to give our infrastructure the attention it needs?  How long will we let this political party hold our government hostage while they try one tactic after another to regain control?