Congress

Senate Republicans Announce a Highway Funding Deal That No One Has Seen

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Senate is scheduled to vote on a highway funding bill at 4 p.m., which is about 30 minutes after this writing, but Senate Democrats still haven't seen the bill or how it will be paid for.

Because of this, minority leader Harry Reid says, Senate Democrats will block the bill from proceeding.

"We're not going to vote on a bill we haven't seen. We'll vote on it but not favorably," Reid told reporters, saying that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should "join us to postpone this vote." [...]

"I would think that most Democrats are going to want to read it first," he added.

Today's vote was originally scheduled for just after 2 o'clock, but it was pushed back to 4 so members of the Senate would have time to review it. Considering that as of last night, no one knew if a deal was even possible, it doesn't appear that even the Republican side of the chamber has had time to review it.

To be clear, today's scheduled vote is merely as procedural vote to begin consideration of the bill, but voting to proceed with a bill that no one has read could have unforeseen or unintended consequences. And in any event, aren't Republicans the one always complaining about not reading the bills? I believe that was one of Rand Paul's slogans.

I suspect Senate Republicans are eager to hastily pass the bill before opposing sides have enough time to properly vet it. Nothing else explains their expediency.

Based on what we know about the Senate bill as of right now, you should not believe the hype or headlines that proclaim this is "6-year" funding bill. It is a 6-year bill, but it's only funded for the first 3 out of 6 years.

  • muselet

    … Republican leadership showed no signs of being open to delaying the procedural vote. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) sought to pressure Democrats, who he said have been calling on Republicans to back a long-term bill.

    “We’ll see whether our Democratic allies … will take yes for an answer,” he told reporters.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Ds are being set up. The Rs have no intention of producing a sensible surface transportation bill, have no intention of paying for it in a way that would be acceptable to the Ds, and have very little interest in actually passing it. All the Rs are after is an election-year attack that can easily be repeated several times in a 30-second spot.

    –alopecia

  • 1933john

    Conservatism is a congenital
    defect with no known cure.
    However, laying-on of lots of
    Buck$ will soothe the anguish
    for a short period of time.

  • Ceoltoir

    Another of those deals where any sane person would want no part in it if they saw it. Unfortunately the Republican party is almost entirely composed of people that fit no definition of sane these days.