Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"Bridge to Nowhere" is going nowhere

According to Congress Daily AM today, Republican Congressional leaders have:

agreed to strip $223 million from the recently enacted transportation reauthorization bill earmarked for a bridge linking Ketchikan, Alaska, with sparsely populated Gravina Island. The move comes as Republicans struggle to pass FY06 appropriations bills that are squeezing other homestate projects, as well as a budget-cutting reconciliation bill targeting mandatory spending. Dubbed the "Bridge to Nowhere" by critics, the Alaska project has become a target of conservatives, and a provision in the FY06 Transportation-Treasury appropriations bill expected to reach the floor this week would instead give the money directly to the state of Alaska to allocate as it sees fit. Alaska lawmakers have defended the project, but public opinion has turned against it.


At 11/16/2005 10:34:00 AM, Anonymous The Jaded JD said...

So does this mean Ted Stevens is resigning from the Senate?

At 11/16/2005 11:08:00 AM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

That was the question that someone else asked at a fundraiser on Capitol Hill that I was at this morning.

I'm sure that there will be plenty of people asking him that question today.

At 11/16/2005 11:16:00 PM, Blogger The Chief said...

Already commented on this at VA Conservative, but apparently the money is still going to Alaska, just not specifically earmarked for the bridge to nowhere. That is the backdoor for Stevens - he said if the money was stripped from his state he would resign... He's sticking around after all. He and Don Young are killing the Party.

At 11/16/2005 11:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you could really say that public opinion has "swung against" the bridge to nowhere. That implies that the public thought it was a good idea to begin with. It's surprsing that Stevens is so strong for these two bridges since his junior Senator and the Gov. of AK own property right near by. The possibilities for conflict of interest are staggering.

The fact that the rest of the Republicans in the House and Senate have backed this thing for so long just shows you what has become of the "principles" of the Republican Party.

And I'm just waiting for President Bush to use his first veto on an overdue defense authorization bill that bans torture. The bad press he is getting the war effort on this is literally killing people and turning what is left of the broad world middle against the US.

At 11/17/2005 08:33:00 AM, Anonymous Charley Tuna said...

It's bogus.

Money still going to Alaska, and not even to the state's general transportation fund, but a separate "special" fund.

"Profiles in Courage" this is not.

At 11/17/2005 09:07:00 AM, Anonymous Tugboat Phil said...

Jaded JD,

That was my first thought, but actually I was wondering if he'd "have to be carried out on a stretcher!"

At 11/17/2005 11:43:00 AM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

The reason why the bridges were struck, but the same amount of money is still going to Alaska has to do with the VERY complicated formulas for the distribution of highway funds to all 50 states and the guaranteed minimum rate of return that each must achieve by 2009. Additionally, the money for the highway bill is derived from the federal gas tax and does not come from the general treasury fund, so any cut in funding from the highway bill would then remain in the Highway Trust Fund (which unlike Social Security's so-called Trust Fund is actually firewalled from the remainder of the budget to maintain it as a self-funding program.)


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