Illinois Officials Call on House GOP Leaders to Fix Transportation Bill
February 13, 2012
Two members of the Illinois Congressional delegation joined business, transportation, and labor leaders today in a bipartisan appeal -- telling Republicans on Capitol Hill it is not too late to fix the transportation bill expected to come up for a vote in the House this week.
Both Republicans and Democrats from Illinois believe the Transportation Reauthorization Bill, as currently written, is bad for the state.
"I was able to make some good changes in the committee but the major changes were blocked, which was very unfortunate," U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois) said during a news conference at the Ogilvie Transportation Center, 500 West Madison Street.
"I agree with my colleague when he says that this bill right now falls short," U.S. Rep. Robert Dold (R-Illinois) told reporters. "I'm hopeful that we're able to make some of the changes on the House floor to make this a more cohesive bill and a jobs bill that's going to be able to move the country forward."
Lipinski says Illinois mass transit would take a big hit in the budget under the current bill, losing $650 million. Local mass transit officials would also like to see the bill rewritten.
"The mass transit system, along with the highways, are the arteries of commerce in a great metropolitan region," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. "It's critically important that the funding source that we have to continue to build and repair that system be stable."
Metra Executive Director/CEO Alex Clifford added, "Certainly this bill as crafted today is detrimental to Metra."
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