April 05, 2011

Rahall Statement on Republican FY 2012 Budget Blueprint

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today released the following statement after House Republicans released their budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2012, which proposes to cut $318 billion in federal transportation investments from current levels over the next decade, including cuts of more than $150 billion of contract authority for highway, highway safety, transit, and airport construction investments.  Compared with the President’s budget, the Republican budget would cut $633 billion from transportation investments:

“I stand side-by-side with my Republican colleagues who believe it is of the utmost importance that Congress continues to take aggressive steps to reduce the federal deficit so that our children and grandchildren aren’t paralyzed by our Nation’s crippling debt.  Washington must learn how to live within its means, take responsibility for our deficits, and put us on a path to pay for what we spend.

“Instead of making targeted cuts to root out waste and increase efficiency, however, Republicans are acting like Civil War surgeons by hacking off limbs instead of diagnosing the disease.

“The extreme and dangerous cuts to transportation investments that make America a better place to do business could threaten our Nation’s economic competitiveness and will destroy American jobs.  The old, tired, and stale slash and burn approach to transportation investments in the Republican budget blueprint would drive our economy off the road to recovery and back into the ditch.  Instead of a superhighway into the future, the Republican “Path to Prosperity” will only lead us backwards down a bumpy dirt road into the past.

“We can boost competitiveness and trim the budget, but both will require concerted thought, backbone, and a willingness to compromise and reach a consensus.  The Republican underinvestment strategy might appeal to the far right of the Republican Party, but it is not the right choice for America’s middle class and our future.”