Senate Republicans yesterday, with the help of Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT), blocked the latest piece of President Obama’s jobs act, which would have provided for $60 billion in infrastructure spending. Instead, the Senate GOP submitted a bill that would supposedly create jobs by crippling the government’s ability to regulate.
House Republicans, of course, won’t even bring up Obama’s jobs plan, instead deciding that the best way to address America’s crumbling infrastructure is to let loose with “drill, baby, drill“:
House Republicans plan to pass a bill by year’s end that would tie new infrastructure funding to federal revenue generated from an expansion of domestic energy production, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Thursday.
Dubbing it the “opposite of stimulus,” Boehner said the new energy production plan would provide “a new devoted revenue stream” that could pay for the kind of infrastructure spending that President Obama is demanding as part of his jobs package.
Even with the unemployment rate barely creeping down and the U.S. facing a $2 trillion deficit in terms of infrastructure, the GOP refuses to move forward with funding unless it is also allowed to soil the environment through more oil drilling.
And its not as if Boehner’s own state of Ohio couldn’t use some help when it comes to infrastructure. In fact, 27 percent of the bridges in Boehner’s state are either “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.” Ohio’s share of the national highway system has 171 bridges that are structurally deficient. 10 of those bridges are even located in Boehner’s own district.
Boehner this week tried to claim that “nobody” has crafted a bill that would fund infrastructure projects, even as Senate Democrats were bringing a bill to the floor that would pay for those projects with a miniscule surtax on the very wealthiest Americans. Instead, Boehner and the rest of the House GOP want to hold the nation’s infrastructure hostage to their Big Oil agenda.