Letter: Transportation and GOP

July 10, 2014 

A recent front page article in the Herald described the loss of federal funding for transportation projects. This article is especially timely in light of the rapidly approaching elections to replace Doc Hastings as our elected representative to the House.

There are many reasons why the government should continue to fund transportation, such as failing highways and bridges. Maintaining our transportation infrastructure is a move supported by all nearly all constituents, including business interests. Other reasons include historically low borrowing rates and a need to provide construction jobs. I might note that since 2007, real public spending on construction has declined by more than 20 percent.

The sole reason that Congress hasn't passed a new transportation bill is that the House Republicans have demanded offsetting cuts in other parts of the budget other than defense. If they want to decimate Medicare and privatize Social Security, let's have that debate (again).

But it irresponsible to hold the transportation bill hostage to such antics best described as Grover Norquist's "starve the beast" policy.

The transportation debacle is the clearest thing I can think of that demands a Republican not be elected to represent us.

FRANK SCHMITTROTH, Richland

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