Update on Stimulus Action in the Senate — Keep Up the Pressure

The latest word from DC is that Kit Bond’s pro-highway/anti-rail amendments have yet to come to the floor, while the Inhofe/Boxer amendment to create a $50 billion highway slush fund is still being finalized by its authors. The phone calls and emails are having an effect — Boxer felt enough pressure to adjust her amendment, Transportation for America tells us, but the tweaks don’t go far enough. (This huge pool of money would not, for example, set aside any amount explicitly for transit.)

Advocates have to keep up the pressure on each count. Bond’s amendments are still very much a threat, and the Boxer/Inhofe amendment, while malleable, is a disaster waiting to happen in its current incarnation. The latest action item from T4A takes aim at both.

I hope you noticed that our Streetsblog Network Action Widget — it’s there on the right sidebar — is sporting a new call to arms for this latest fight in the Senate. If you’d like to add a dynamic action alert to your own blog or website, here are the instructions.

  • Danny G

    Just called the Boxer office, they told me the Inhofe/Boxer bill was defeated yesterday.

  • Denizen

    The Senate is vastly overrepresented by thinly-populated, rural states which have little to gain from transit projects. It’s a vast travesty of democracy that the House of Representatives needs approval from the undemocratic Senate to do much of anything.

  • James

    People, this fight looks to be harder than we even thought possible. Getting Obama into office was just the first engagement in the larger battle to get something approaching equity in transportation policy in this country. The real battle has now begun with the stimulus package debate in Congress. We truly see what we are up against now. Today, the Senate just voted an $11 billion tax break for new car purchases, yet we can’t even get two pennies to rub together for transit. It’s hard to not feel the familiar cynicism of the last 8 years creep back in, I feel it too, but don’t give up just yet.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Urgent Action: Oppose Highway Robbery in Senate Stim Bill

|
Stimulus debate continues today in the Senate, where the stale ideas keep on coming. In addition to the $50 billion highway slush fund floated by Senators Boxer and Inhofe (no vote on that one yet), Missouri’s Kit Bond plans to offer two amendments that would rob from transit, rail, and green transportation to pay for […]

It Gets Worse: Boxer/Inhofe to Request $50B More for Highways

|
Barbara Boxer and infamous global warming denier James Inhofe will present an amendment to the Senate stimulus plan that could funnel as much as $50 billion in additional funding to highways, Streetsblog has learned. Friends of the Earth tells us that Boxer’s staff confirmed she will introduce the amendment, which could bring the total for […]

Senate’s $50 Billion Highway Giveaway Nearly Dead

|
The Inhofe/Boxer stimulus bill amendment for $50 billion in additional infrastructure funds appears to be dead, with official word expected soon from Senator Harry Reid’s office. Sources close to the negotiations say that at least five Democratic Senators were not going to support the amendment if transit and water provisions weren’t improved, while Senate Republicans […]

The Boxer/Inhofe Amendment: Not Green Enough

|
A revised draft of the Boxer/Inhofe amendment just came over the transom from a source in DC close to the negotiations (PDF).  This is a draft from yesterday and negotiations are ongoing, so expect changes.  Specifically, enviros are trying to get a "green screen" put in place, so that USDOT can pick from the priority […]