Sen. Rockefeller "Stunned" by Republican Procedural Trick

HNN Staff
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“It goes without saying that funding for roads and bridges is essential for our state to be economically competitive,” said Senator Rockefeller. “I’m stunned that as one of its first acts, the House Republican leadership is proposing to use a procedural trick to put highway projects on the chopping block.  This proposed House rule would hurt West Virginia -- shortchanging highway and bridge safety and cutting construction and maintenance jobs, like any multi-year project, such as Corridor H or King Coal Highway.

“For decades the Highway Trust Fund has given West Virginia and other states the certainty to undertake long-term projects. This rule would paralyze West Virginia’s infrastructure development and maintenance. I urge my House Republican colleagues to fight against this anti-West Virginia rule and instead work in the new Congress to make sure that we adequately invest in our state’s transportation.”

Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has proposed new rules for the 112th Congress, which include a provision to subject highway and transportation investment to an uncertain funding process. Currently, House rules protect highway and transit funding levels from being reduced through the annual appropriations process. This proposed new rule puts transportation funding in jeopardy and eliminates the certainty that States rely on for long-term planning and maintenance of their highway and transit systems.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials estimates that if Republicans were to use this proposed rule to limit transportation funding to the level supported by the Highway Trust Fund it could result in a $7 billion reduction for transportation infrastructure and could reduce West Virginia’s highway budget by more than 17 percent.