PA bridges repair on hold; Worst in the nation
At the federal level, neither chamber of Congress voted for a transportation funding bill. For a while it looked like the Senate was going to pass the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill (THUD), and Sen. Robert Casey Jr. said the bill contained “several initiatives to directly address bridge repairs and broader transportation priorities that are vital to the state.”
He said the bill supported the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program (TIGER), which provides grants for significant projects in a variety of transportation modes, including highways and bridges, public transit, passenger and freight railroads and port infrastructure.
Ultimately, however, five Republican senators who had earlier backed the legislation suddenly pulled their support from it after it became clear that Republicans in the House were not going be able to gather enough Republican votes to pass their own version of THUD.
According to various accounts of the matter, the bill was pulled because of a failure to agree between a small group of Republican House members who thought the level of spending in the House version was too small, and conservative members who thought the spending level was too high. Republican leaders said they would return to the bill in the fall.
But the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Hal Rogers, said he thinks that is unlikely. He has been quoted in numerous publications as saying, “With this action, the House has declined to proceed on the implementation of the very budget it adopted just three months ago. Thus, I believe that the House has made its choice: sequestration, and it’s unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts, must be brought to an end.”