Were you stuck in traffic traveling to your Thanksgiving destination this year? If so, or if you know someone who was, here is some food for thought: The states should be empowered to control their own transportation infrastructure, without excessive — and inefficient — involvement from the federal government. The states should be provided relief from federal regulations so that they could put local priorities first and fund projects that provide congestion relief, capacity expansion, and enhanced mobility.
The Transportation Empowerment Act (H.R. 3486) would turn back control of the federal highway program (including transit) to the states by incrementally decreasing the federal gas tax and the size of the federal program, and in turn empower the states to fund and manage their transportation programs and priorities.
In the past week we have added two new cco-sponsorships to our Scorecard. Both of the bills, each with a version in the House and Senate, protect the freedoms of the individual and the states. Here is a summary of each bill:
The Transportation Empowerment Act (S.1702/H.R. 3486)
This legislation would turn back control of the federal highway program (including transit) to the states by incrementally decreasing the federal gas tax and the size of the federal program, and in turn empower the states to fund and manage their transportation programs and priorities.
The Employee Rights Act (S.1712/H.R. 3485)
This legislation would protect workers from union pressure by putting power in the hands of employees and making union leaders more accountable to their members, restoring the balance of power in the workplace from unions to workers.
Your Members of Congress need to co-sponsor this solid conservative legislation and protect the freedoms of workers and states.
Will wonders never cease? Perhaps, but today is not that day. A new smartphone app – “I’m Stuck” – developed by Building America’s Future allows people to notify their lawmakers whenever they’re stuck in traffic.
Interestingly, former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been an outspoken opponent of engaging in such behavior:
The problem in America is our cellphones are, in a sense, like alcohol. We’re hooked on them and can’t put them down when behind the wheel of the car, when we’re driving. We’re hooked on these devices and can’t put them down, anyplace, anytime, anywhere.
The Building America’s Future group is encouraging texting while driving, well maybe it is more like text while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. At the drop of a hat – or in this case, as soon as a green light turns yellow or red – folks will be able to snap a photo and send it to Congress to complain.
Earlier this week we highlighted the trend of individual states taking initiative on their own transportation infrastructure needs. Politico reports (sub. req’d) that some leading Democrats are looking to the States for a solution to the nation’s infrastructure needs now too:
Leading Democrats trying to pinpoint a long-term fix for the nation’s infrastructure funding woes may not have found a solution, but they have settled on where to look: Annapolis, Richmond, Cheyenne and Montpelier.
The liberal embrace of federalism comes about 14 months before the Highway Trust Fund [HTF] runs out of cash. Since 2008, Congress has repeatedly tried and failed to find a plan to replace the fund’s dwindling gas tax revenue. (emphasis added)