Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Reauthorization

Rejection of Senate Transpo Bill Opens Rift Between GOP, Business Groups

4:57 PM EDT on March 30, 2012

The conservative wing of the Republican Party had their way yesterday in the House of Representatives, refusing to bring up for a vote the moderate, two-year transportation bill passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the Senate, going instead with a 90-day extension, the 9th in a row.

Come construction interests are reducing their financial support for the Republican Party after this week's transportation bill fiasco, according to the New York Times. Photo: ##http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36322228/ns/business-us_business/t/case-more-stimulus/## MSNBC##

Now some of the groups that have traditionally been the party's biggest supporters are crying foul. An article in yesterday's New York Times featured several major Republican campaign donors who feel burned by a number of recent actions advanced by the party's right wing -- the most painful of which was the failure to pass a transportation bill.

“The majority of the work is supposed to go out in spring and get done by the fall,” Jeff Shoaf, a government relations official at Associated General Contractors, told the paper. The group donated $1 million to candidates in 2010, according to the report, and about 80 percent of that to Republicans. “Instead of spending 60 or 70 percent of their budgets, they’re going to cut back to 50 or 40 percent to make sure they have some cash in the fall,” he said.

Reporter Jonathan Weisman writes:

There could be real-world consequences to the conservative rebellion. The 90-day extension of the highway trust fund that House Republican leaders [passed yesterday] in lieu of a broad highway bill would keep existing projects moving for now. But business groups say few new government-funded infrastructure projects can get under way without longer-range certainty about federal backing.

Barney Keller, spokesman for the conservative political action committee the Club for Growth, was unapologetic. “Free market is not always the same as pro-business,” he told the Times.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

State DOTs Spend Even More Money on Highway Expansions Than We Thought

Advocate knew states would go on a highway widening binge when the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed — but they didn't know it would be quite this bad.

February 22, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines Breathe Freely

If every driver started buying electric vehicles powered by clean energy, it would prevent millions of respiratory illnesses. But the market has slowed down significantly.

February 22, 2024

Understanding the Car-Dominated Past Can Lead to a Better Future

And success will mean nothing less than a better life for all groups and communities.

February 22, 2024

Opinion: How Letting Bikes ‘Talk’ To Cars Can Save Lives

There's a lot of talk about how "vehicle-to-everything" technology can make driving better. What about biking?

February 21, 2024
See all posts