Fed. Transpo' Extension Halted Over Bike Funding

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, came through with his promise to stop the clean extension of the transportation bill - and extension of the fed. gas tax, over the inclusion of what are known as 'enhancements' including bike/ped/livability programs.
September 15, 2011, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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To be sure, Coburn didn't just target the transportation extension, he also placed 'holds' on bills "to continue sanctions against Burma and to provide disaster relief to areas affected by Hurricane Irene and other storms." Consequently, Senate Dem. Majority Leader Harry Reid "must allow for 30 hours of debate." Heretofore, the extension was moving along rapidly, to the surprise of many.

Coburn will introduce an amendment that "would eliminate the 1.5 percent of federal transportation funds that go to Transportation Enhancements, about half of which is spent on bicycle and pedestrian programs."

Politico reports that Sen. Reid did not take kindly to Coburn's obstructionism. "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid admonished Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Wednesday, suggesting that he was acting like a "dictator" in blocking transportation legislation and that his action could put 80,000 people out of work by this weekend."

Reid was referring to the fact that Coburn was blocking the Federal Aviation Administration extension as well as the surface transportation bill that contained the transportation enhancements, Coburn's target.

Thanks to California Bicycle Coalition

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Published on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 in Steetsblog Capitol Hill
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