House adopts six month spending bill that disregards federal transportation bill

We mentioned this was in the works earlier this week and now it has come to pass; the Republican-led U.S. House is trying to backtrack on funding commitments in last year's two-year transportation spending bill.

The update from Metro's government relations staff:

Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation (H.R. 933) that would, if adopted into law, continue to fund the federal government through September 30, 2013, which is the end of Federal Fiscal Year 2013. The legislation was needed to avert a shutdown of the federal government because last year Congress only adopted a stop-gap funding bill, which expires on March 27, 2013. In a letter sent to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) earlier this week, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and her colleagues Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) criticized the continuing resolution adopted today because it “…disregards the funding levels negotiated during the 112th Congress in the surface transportation bill.” In addition to cutting highway safety programs, the legislation adopted today would likely lead to across the board cuts for a variety of federal transportation programs. As of today, it is unclear how the U.S. Senate will react to House passage of H.R. 933. Our agency will continue to support Congressional efforts to honor the transportation funding levels authorized in MAP-21, the surface transportation bill signed into law by President Obama last year.

Categories: Transportation News

7 replies

  1. Dr. M,

    Actually, I was thinking something along the lines of “if company A pitches in to repave this stretch of road or freeway, company A gets a tax break” or “if company B helps run and maintain the upkeep of a Metro or Metrolink station, they get exclusive rights to develop the properties surrounding it”

    Say for example if Hollywood Park Racetrack or the brand name airport hotels pitches in to repaves about 5 miles of those pot ridden holds on Century Blvd. east of the 405 (have you seen the condition they are in? Terrible!) they get a major tax break.

  2. LAX Frequent Flyer- those are interesting points. I’m with you on points 1 and 2. I believe we are seeing your “step 3” partially in action, at least as far as the new freeway toll roads go. Metro collects the tolls instead of the private operator. So long as the funds stay locked to transit projects this seems like an ideal configuration–you use the diamond lane, you pay a toll, toll goes to pay for some mass transit project. Consider the situation you suggested – that the toll roads are run by private entities. Do you really want a company whose profit derives from traffic to control our freeways?

  3. @Dennis Hindman, I think our Federal Government is spending money just fine. LOL– That is the problem. Our debt is so out of control. If you are in credit card debt, do you get another credit card to pay the first debt off? No and we are at the point where we have no more credit cards…we soon will be at payday loans. We don’t have a revenue problem as much as we have a spending problem. We need to spend more wisely. (BTW, both parties are guilty of this and its all of our jobs to cut them off).

    @LAX Frequent Flyer, pretty much had some good points. We have to make it attractive for people to invest and build businesses here in our community. And we shouldn’t be worried about the Feds. Lets start here at home first, lead by example, build something great.

  4. I hope no one here actually believes anything will get done so long as we have a Republican controlled House and a Democratic controlled Senate.

    You all know the game. House provides bill. Senate rejects it. Senate provides bill. House rejects it. The same old, same old.

    We’d be way better off if LA finds its own solutions to our own problems independently than relying on Congress.

    Step 1: Bring back jobs to LA. If taxes have to be reduced to make LA more attractive to bring back businesses, it has to be an option on the table. Can’t rebuild an economy unless people have jobs. Jobs are created by businesses. Businesses aren’t coming back to LA if the business tax climate is too high; they’ll just seeks or move elsewhere.

    Step 2: Get the housing problem fixed. Can’t have a healthy middle class if the middle class can’t own homes (or condos since we have no more room to build homes) in LA

    Step 3: May have to look at privatizing some public areas. LAX for example. Privatized airports are not uncommon in the rest of the world, in fact, a lot more countries are privatizing them to get them off of government hands. Disband LAWA, change it to LAX Corp.

    Privatizing some freeways to actual toll roads. Municipal parking lots as well. And of course, privatizing Metro is also an option. What has to be done, has to be done. We can’t continue taxing people forever, we can’t continue to issue junk bonds, we can’t rely on the federal government, we have to agree somethings must be privatized.

  5. LA Metro wouldn’t be so desperate had they not listened to the genius who thought it would make sense to use the honor system.

    Some Metro guy: “Why are we so broke, all of our years we’ve spent in college education and years at Metro under Obama and Bush, and yet we can’t figure it out”

    Somebody with common sense: “Duh, maybe because the system allows for freeloaders to get on the trains with barely any enforcement or fare checks going on?”

    Change doesn’t happen if the same idiots are running the same agencies no matter who is sitting at the White House.

  6. The greatest hardships in having cuts in transportation spending will be to cities such as New York City, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco, which are heavily dependent on transit for transportation and federal funding to keep it running.

    As economist Paul Krugman has pointed out recently, the main reason the Great Depression ended in the U.S. was significantly increased federal spending on the military in the late 1930’s in response to what Hitler was doing in Europe.

    The federal government could reduce the time it will take to end the depression that we are in by making much needed major increases in spending on transit, bicycling, roads and bridges. This would help stimulate the economy until the demand in the private sector picks up.