Friday, June 29, 2012

Transportation Nation

As fully expected, House Republicans waited until the last minute to pass the Transportation Bill, after holding nearly 2 millions jobs hostage in an election year.

Moments ago, the House of Representatives passed a re-authorization of the highway bill by a vote of 373-52. House Republicans had previously been blocking the package, holding up funding for 1.9 million transportation jobs. The bill also includes an extension of the student loan rates that will prevent them from doubling on Sunday. The legislation will now go to the Senate, where it’s likely to pass.

Republicans were always going to lose this fight, and the Democrats held out to keep the legislation alive without the Republicans getting what they wanted, namely the Keystone XL pipeline project.  The GOP overplayed its hand badly and got burned even worse.  The GOP did get streamlining and federal review for transportation projects in the future, bypassing some federal directives to state concerns, but that's down the road.

The Senate passed the bill 74-19 and President Obama will sign it later today.

For now, this is the second major win for the Dems and millions of Americans in as many days and should be treated as such.

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