In the first week of November the Senate will debate a jobs bill that invests $60 billion in infrastructure. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid made the announcement last Friday.
The bill would provide about $27 billion for roads and bridges, $9 billion for mass transit, $5 billion for projects chosen through a competitive grant program, $4 billion for passenger rail, $2 billion for airports and $1 billion for an improved air traffic control system. It will also provide $10 billion to seed an infrastructure bank.
Unfortunately the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate. Republicans oppose the funding mechanism – a tax surcharge on earnings over $1 million. 60 votes will be required to pass the bill; Democrats have only 53 members and three defected to vote with the Republicans on the last jobs bill. Even if it could pass the Senate the bill would be DOA in the House.
Still, the debate is good news for transportation stakeholders. There will be much said and written about transportation and its impact on jobs an economic vitality.
“Klobuchar, Reid and LaHood to unveil next phase of jobs bill”, Minnesota Public Radio
“Harry Reid Unveils New Jobs Bill For $60 Billion,” Huffington Post