Sen. Rand Paul traveled to Northern Kentucky with President Obama last Thursday, to discuss with him a plan to fix our nation's crumbling infrastructure. Before the President spoke just steps from the Brent Spence Bridge, Sen. Rand Paul unveiled to him the Emergency Transportation Safety Fund Act of 2011.
"While we are faced with a fiscal crisis, our nation also has critical infrastructure needs that demand immediate attention. The Emergency Transportation Safety Fund Act is a fiscally responsible approach to dealing with a matter of high priority," Sen. Paul said.
"This bill closes the gap in federal highway planning and funding without increasing spending and without any earmarks. We can finally fix our broken roads and bridges by freeing up funding that is used for optional projects such as scenic beautification and transportation museums," he continued. "This plan provides the necessary resources for emergency repairs and will not only save our infrastructure from collapsing but also keep our budgets from expanding."
And on Friday, Sen. Paul visited the Sherman-Minton Bridge in Louisville, leading a group of Administration officials including U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez and local officials.
Sen. Paul's plan creates an emergency bridge fund. This fund will use money previously set aside for unnecessary projects like turtle tunnels, squirrel sanctuaries, and flower beds. It will also direct the Highway Funds Administrator to develop a national priority list for infrastructure emergencies and disburse the money based on critical needs.
"I've talked with the President. I've talked with Sec. LaHood. The problem our nation's infrastructure faces is very real - and needs immediate attention. But the solution to this shouldn't create more problems, like increased debt. I am advocating for our needs as Kentuckians and Americans and pairing them with smart cuts in other less important funding areas. This approach can succeed on a bipartisan basis," said Sen. Paul.
Meanwhile, last Wednesday, Louisville’s Third District Congressman, John Yarmuth, joined 181 of his fellow Democrats in voting to reject disaster relief to thousands of suffering Americans by voting down a $3.7 billion bill in the House. Democrats were upset that the bill cut funding to one of their green projects; the measure contains $1.5 billion in cuts to a government loan program to help car companies build fuel-efficient vehicles. This raises the possibility that the government’s main disaster relief program could run out of money early next week for victims of Hurricane Irene and other disasters.
Sen. Rand Paul on Your World w/ Neil Cavuto - 09/21/11
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