Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Federal Funding

Bunning Throws in the Towel, Congress Restores Transport Funding

Workers at the U.S. DOT and on transportation projects around the country are back on the job today after Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) lost his politically hazardous battle against a 30-day extension of federal infrastructure law and unemployment benefits.

art.bunning.gi.pngSen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) (Photo: CNN)

But while Republicans sought to distance themselves from Bunning's five-day stand against the $10 billion measure, sending Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) yesterday to ask the Kentuckian to yield, 18 of Bunning's fellow GOP senators ultimately voted with him to continue withholding federal transport funding unless its cost was offset by budget cuts elsewhere.

The extension passed on a 78-19 vote. Four members of Republican leadership voted with Bunning: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), GOP Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (TN), Conference Vice Chairman John Thune (SD), and campaign committee chief John Cornyn (TX).

"This week we saw the shutdown of
many important highway and bridge projects, which caused great concern in many
of our states," Senate environment committee chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said in a statement after the vote. "Now I look forward to a longer-term transportation
extension with the legislation that has already passed the Senate, and which I
believe will pass the House this week."

The legislation Boxer referred to, a $15 billion bill that would keep the nation's highway trust fund solvent until 2011, could get a vote in the House this week. But much depends on how Democratic leaders act to ease the objections of members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who want to see more infrastructure spending added to the Senate package, and the Blue Dogs, who have called for more revenue offsets to the bill.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Small East Bronx Open Street Shows Big Potential

An open street on less than a block of Williamsbridge is one of just two in the entire East Bronx.

May 24, 2024

RIDE ON: E-Bikes are the Key to Sustainable Bike Share

E-bikes are “a big game changer for the shared bike industry," one expert said. Here's why.

May 24, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Confirmation Consternation Edition

Life's a riot with Adams vs. Adams. Plus more news.

May 24, 2024

‘Late’ Island Rail Road: LIRR On-Time Stats Obscure Rider Fury at Thousands of Blown Connections

Late trains leave riders little time to make connections scheduled as tight as 4 minutes apart.

May 24, 2024

Pickup Truck Driver Kills Cyclist in Sunset Park But is Not Charged

The driver was not charged, police said, even though the official narrative clearly indicates that he turned into the cyclist.

May 23, 2024
See all posts