Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Lame Duck Session

We've just begun the Lame Duck session of Congress where the very important reauthorization of the TEA-21 Bill may take place.

In characteristic mode, the Congress has waffled on the reauthorization for the better part of the year in an effort to avoid bringing out into the open differences between Bush--who wants to limit funding for the reauthorication--and his comrades in Congress who look to the highway and transit bill as a way to bring home the pork.

As a result of this indecision, projects are on hold throughout the country as states and municipalities wait to see what the figures for federal matching dollars are going to look like.

The reauthorization of TEA-21 got little discussion during the Presidential campaign. Although I did find this brief quote from Bush in early September:
"There will be a highway bill, and just want to make sure that the highway bill honors the Highway Trust Fund. The Highway Trust Fund is set up so that we use the money from the gasoline tax and not general revenues. And I think it's very important that we guard that aspect of the trust, keep the trust of the trust fund. (Applause.) And that's why we're having the discussions we're having, and you know, we'll see if we can get a bill done."

It's certainly reassuring to see that he's put so much time in thinking about this bill. You have to love the applause line: "keep the trust of the trust fund"!