The following is cross-posted at www.fiscalaccountability.org:
Yesterday, CFA and ATR sent a letter urging members of Congress to oppose H.R. 3357, a $7 billion bailout of the Highway Trust Fund.
Today, Senators Coburn and McCain voiced opposition to the bill, issuing a report that details the gross overspending and mismanagement of transportation funds that have consistently placed the Highway Trust Fund in the red. The report cites finding from a study by the GAO, which details the extent to which tax dollars are used for pet projects – over the past 5 years, it found that $78 billion has been allocated from the Highway Trust Fund for extraneous projects.
The report outlines, in a fashion similar to Senator Coburn’s report listing 100 wasteful “stimulus” projects
, the array of pork disguised as transportation spending for which taxpayers have been footing the bill. The senators argue that the rampant earmarking of transportation spending has been done at the cost of Americans’ safety as bridges and roads, the supposed recipient of trust fund monies, lay in disrepair while money is instead funneled to “scenic beautification” projects.
This news comes a day after the House passed H.R. 3357 and as the bill progressed to the Senate, we were glad to see a battle brewing over the wasteful spending in the trust fund. We urged the Senate to reject the bill
and instead address the reckless spending that that fuels the repeated “bailout” mentality. Senators Coburn and McCain make a similar argument, recommending that unobligated “stimulus” funds be used to make the trust fund solvent and call for a moratorium on all transportation spending earmarks in the 111th Congress.
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