Wiki Wednesday: The Story of the Stimulus

Looks like the conference committee made quick work of the stimulus bill, with Harry Reid announcing that a deal has been reached much sooner than expected (perhaps a bit too prematurely). We’ll have the specifics on transportation funding later tonight or early tomorrow. For now, relive the stimulus saga with StreetsWiki. Contributor DianaD has added some nice narrative chunks to the entry. Remember stemming the tide of Asphalt Age amendments in the Senate?

demint_inhofe.jpgSenators DeMint and Inhofe were two of the more brazenly backwards policy makers during the stimulus debate.

There were a number of discouraging setbacks for green transportation
during the crafting of the Senate bill. First, the Senate version
allocates more than $3 billion less to transit compared to the House
version. Transit’s future was looking even worse when Senator Barbara Boxer

(D-CA) and Senator

James Inhofe+

(R-OK) proposed an amendment to direct another $50 billion to highway
projects. But several Democratic senators refused to support the
amendment unless a significant proportion of the funds was shifted to
public transit and clean water infrastructure; the amendment never
passed. Furthermore, Senator
Barbara Mikulski+

(D-MD) offered up an amendment that would give a tax break to new-car
buyers to bring more people into dealer showrooms. This amendment
passed 71-26.

Those car buyer tax breaks, by the way, appear to have shrunk in conference committee.

This is an important story to tell — one we’ll want to refer back to when the big multi-year transportation bill starts taking shape later this year. If you’ve got something to add to the entry, type it up while it’s fresh in your memory. To write for StreetsWiki, all you have to do is sign up with the Livable Streets Network.

  • I think it is important that with the transportation bill those of us interested in mass transit are even better organized about getting the word out and I imagine streetsblog will be leading the way on this again!


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 Approves Stimulus Bill — On to Conference Committee

Transportation Enhancements funding helped to expand Roberto Clemente Plaza at the Bronx Hub. The League of American Bicyclists has issued an action alert to keep that program in the stimulus bill. The Senate approved its version of the stimulus bill this afternoon by a 61-37 vote. Attention now turns to conference committee negotiations, where differences […]

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 […]

Tell Your Senator to Support Transit and Green Jobs, Not Highways

Update: Hold those phone calls, folks. Schumer has co-sponsored the Murray/Feinstein amendment, making it highly unlikely that he will offer his own, superior amendment. There are more amendments in the wings — supported by Senate Republicans and some surprising Democrats — that would give highway builders even greater leeway to build dirty, traffic-generating boondoggles. We’ll […]

Key Vote on Senate Transpo Bill Could Go Either Way

In interviewing a number of experts for an upcoming article about the prospects of passing a transportation bill, I’ve found a surprising amount of disagreement about whether the Senate bill will clear a key milestone today. Last week, Majority Leader Harry Reid finalized his “manager’s amendment,” combining all the major components of the Senate transpo […]