Senate rejects measure that would create $50 billion for transportation

President Barack Obama’s jobs bill continues to fall apart in Congress; House still plans to pass highway bill by end of 2011

Funding News Washington Post November 04, 2011
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The Republican Party continues to spoil President Barack Obama’s plans.

The Senate rejected another piece of Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill on Nov. 3, and this one hurt the transportation industry.

The measure would have provided $50 billion for highway, rail, transit and airport improvements and another $10 billion to help set up a national infrastructure bank.

The infrastructure measure that called for a 0.7% surtax on those making more than $1 million a year, did not receive a single vote of approval from Senate Republicans. Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) also said no.

“It makes no sense when you consider that this bill was made up of the same kinds of common-sense proposals that many of these Senators have fought for in the past,” President Obama said in a statement. “It was fully paid for.”

The Senate refused to consider the entire jobs bill last month, and has had a difficult time passing it in pieces.

The House still appears to be committed to passing a transportation bill by the end of 2011. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said an energy and infrastructure jobs bill would be formerly introduced in the coming weeks.

“While some may only see political theater in the Senate action, there also is undeniable common ground,” Pete Ruane, president of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, said in a statement. “Both Republicans and Democrats agree there is an urgency to improve the nation’s aging transportation network and that it should include a mechanism to ensure new investments are fully paid for.”

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