Let's look on the bright side of life.
By all accounts, you would be hard-pressed today to find anyone who views congressional inaction positively. But with the House of Representatives' transportation package languishing amid opposition from both Democrats and Republicans, members of Congress at least have added time to address the bill's severe shortcomings.
Our country's roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair, so crafting economically beneficial legislation with bipartisan support should be lawmakers' top priority. Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica has already shown us what's possible when business development and other interests meet, including language in the House bill that would spur development around transit stations and jumpstart real estate investment. With that kind of cooperative leadership as a model, the House would be wise to make the following revisions, showing voters that it's the congressional branch with the capacity to get things done in an election year:
- Restore guaranteed funding for public transportation. Let's talk economics, not politics; historically, investments in public transportation generate 31 percent more jobs per dollar than construction of roads and bridges. Moreover, millions of Americans rely on transit systems to get them to and from work, shops and schools every day. Retaining a dedicated source of funding for public transportation adds certainty that those economic connections remain in place. Ignoring 30 years of bipartisan policy, destabilizing business growth and stranding seniors and commuters without cars hardly seems like a way to win hearts and minds.
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