This morning, the U.S. Senate voted on an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations bill offered by Kentucky’s junior senator, Republican Rand Paul, that would fund construction efforts on America's most high-priority infrastructure needs without adding to our national debt.
Offsetting the cost of these projects by eliminating transportation enhancement funds used for beautification projects - such as movie theaters, squirrel sanctuaries, turtle tunnels and flower beds - will create nearly $700 million for the Highway Bridge Program. The amendment failed, 38-60; with not a single Democrat voting in favor of it.
"With nearly 25 percent of our nation's bridges deemed either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, we need to make their reconstruction a priority over errant beautification projects," Sen. Paul said. "My home state of Kentucky has two major arteries in need of immediate repair - one bridge has been shut down, the other in desperate need of repair - and thousands more across the country face the same conditions. I am disappointed my colleagues failed to see this as a priority, affecting our entire nation's infrastructure and commerce through transportation, and were unable to address this issue without adding to our ever-expanding national debt."
Asked to comment on Senator Rand Paul’s amendment, Kentucky’s senior senator, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell remarked: "I am disappointed that Senate Democrats failed to recognize the importance of Sen. Paul’s legislation to the people of Kentucky. This legislation was an innovative way to address our transportation infrastructure in Kentucky, and would have enabled us to repair our bridges and roads without adding to our deficit. Kentuckians are tired of financing every turtle tunnel and solar panel company, rather than using the funds to repair our bridges and roads.”
Sen. Rand Paul on the Willis Report with Gerri Willis - 10/20/11
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