GOP House Formally Rejects Senate Transportation Bill, Shutdown Looming

By: Thursday March 22, 2012 10:16 am

I knew the House planned to send a short-term transportation bill up for a vote next week, right before the deadline of March 31, when US highway funds would expire. I didn’t realize until now that the House actually formally voted down the bipartisan Senate version of the bill yesterday: House Republicans on Wednesday held [...]

House Won’t Take Up Senate Surface Transportation Bill Before Expiration Date

By: Friday March 16, 2012 7:35 am

The Senate’s transportation bill, which passed earlier this week, is more bipartisan than good. The bill lasts for two years rather than the 5 years requested by the White House, and it funds at about 2/3 the level in the President’s budget request, which itself is relatively low according to infrastructure experts. That said, it [...]

Boehner Caving on Highway Bill, Would Accept Senate Version as an Option

By: Tuesday March 6, 2012 1:25 pm

While Democrats and Republicans had an interest in passing a surface transportation bill that would at least keep construction workers employed on infrastructure projects, and perhaps provide additional opportunities for home district visits to cut blue ribbons on projects “I fought for in Congress,” the bill has not come together. The House has scrapped any [...]

Auto Sales Up Sharply, Higher than Cash for Clunkers Period

By: Friday March 2, 2012 11:34 am

Automobile sales in the US surged in February, up 14% year-over-year and sharply above expectations. This is perhaps the best economic indicator of the year. As Mike Konczal points out, the number is almost 1 million cars (on an annual basis) above the most recent high back in August 2009, during the “Cash for Clunkers” [...]

House Transportation Bill Draws White House Veto Threat

By: Wednesday February 15, 2012 8:18 am

The White House formally threatened a veto of the House version of a surface transportation bill, opening the question of whether any long-term bill will get signed before March when current funding on roads and bridges expires. There are currently different versions of the surface transportation bill moving through each chamber of Congress. The House [...]

Obama Administration Would Tax Dividends at Same Rate as Top Earnings

By: Monday February 13, 2012 8:59 am

I’m loath to dive into the numbers of the Administration’s FY 2013 budget, because it won’t be used as anyone’s baseline, and to the extent that it will, that was baked into the cake by the debt limit deal. If you want the hard numbers, the surprisingly best source I’ve found comes from the Guardian. [...]

Senate Passes FAA Authorization Bill with Anti-Union Elements

By: Tuesday February 7, 2012 6:16 am

Despite fierce opposition from major transit unions, the Senate yesterday gave final approval to the FAA Authorization bill, a five-year extension that removes uncertainty from the FAA, approves a next-generation air traffic monitoring system and, in Harry Reid’s telling, creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. But unions were unhappy about changes to labor law insisted [...]

House, Senate Bicker Over Surface Transportation Bill

By: Tuesday January 31, 2012 12:57 pm

House Republicans are honoring a deep tradition in American politics by trying to save their political skins and their majority through the passage of a highway bill. In past years these would be earmark-laden affairs designed to channel resources to particular districts and bolster the case for re-election. That’s not quite the case this year. [...]

Broken: US Infrastructure Needs Still Great

By: Tuesday January 3, 2012 12:55 pm

Back in 2008, after the Presidential election, I remember Rachel Maddow doing an interview with President-elect Obama and asking him about infrastructure needs, citing an American Society of Civil Engineering report giving the country a failing grade for infrastructure, with hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars in projects needed for upgrades and maintenance. [...]

More on the Economy in 2012: Making Up the Auto and Home Sales Gap?

By: Monday January 2, 2012 7:38 am

The biggest reason I can find for economic optimism in 2012 is a belief that people will eventually have to buy new cars and form households, so why not this year? That appears to be the animating thought behind Matt Yglesias’ cheery forecast in the new year. Total bank credit, which collapsed during the crisis, [...]

The Looming Disaster: Expiration of Federal Highway Authorization Coming at End of September

By: Thursday August 25, 2011 1:03 pm

I don’t think there’s any question that the threat exists of a hostage-taking situation over the transportation funding bill, which expires September 30. Congress won’t even come back in session until the first week of September, leaving them precious little time for an extension. In addition, the new fiscal year begins October 1, so we [...]

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