Jun 30, 2012 at 7:49 am
As someone who often inveighs against the dysfunction Congress, I should tip my hat when they actually, you know…do stuff.
Yesterday, they managed to pass the transportation bill and the student loan extension. From the NYT:
The transportation legislation extends federal highway, rail and transit programs for 27 months, authorizing $120 billion in spending, financed by the existing 18.4 cents-a-gallon gasoline tax and the 24.4 cents-a-gallon diesel tax, as well as about $19 billion in transfers from the Treasury…The $6.7 billion student loan provision extends the current 3.4 percent interest rate on Stafford loans for one year, financed by changes in pension laws and a restriction on the length of time students could get those loans.
Good, necessary bills. But here’s the thing: Tea Party conservatives–who believe they were sent here to block pretty much everything–were unhappy with the bills, but bragged about the following:
Republicans boasted of streamlining environmental review processes for transportation programs and shifting resources away from highway beautification and pedestrian and bike paths.
I get the environmental part but “pedestrian and bike paths”??!! Tea Partiers don’t like a bike ride? A walk around town? I mean, after a while, don’t you wanna shut off Fox and go outside?
Maybe they view this as a “private market” responsibility, but I hope not, because private sources can’t be relied upon to provide such resources—they’re clearly public goods. Maybe they view it as a local responsibility. Or maybe it’s just knee-jerk opposition to anything that sounds suspicious—like taking walks and riding bikes!
Thank you for joining the conversation. Comments are limited to 1,500 characters and are subject to approval and moderation. We reserve the right to remove comments that: