WASHINGTON, DC—Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) President Edward Wytkind issues this statement on the Senate’s failure to pass the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill:
“It is a sad state when obstructionists in Washington can keep our economy and our deteriorating transportation system on hold while they carry out their austerity-laced partisan agenda.
“With today’s vote to kill the once bipartisan transportation appropriations jobs bill, the Senate Republican leadership has, yet again, snatched economic defeat from the jaws of victory.
“This comes on the heels of Republican leaders in the House pulling the transportation appropriations jobs bill from the floor on Wednesday after debate had already begun. They learned the hard and embarrassing lesson that there aren’t enough votes to support a bill that makes radical cuts to programs that improve American life and boost our economy.
“It is difficult to watch this spectacle given all the hot rhetoric we hear from these same obstructionists about the need to create good jobs in America. This is a jobs bill — for every billion dollars we invest in transportation more than 30,000 Americans go to work and we boost manufacturing as well. Do the math: we have 12 million unemployed Americans. Perhaps the Senators who opposed this bill would like to ask a few of them if they’d like a chance to apply for the jobs they just voted to kill.
“To all those Senators who blocked passage of this legislation today, I would ask these questions:
“Which functionally obsolete bridge in your state will you not repair or replace?
“Will you inform your commuters that mass transit and rail service will be cut and is about to become more expensive? Will you let your motorists know that their already long commutes to work are about to get longer?
“Are you going to explain that longer lines at airports and more flight delays are ahead?
“Will you be informing business owners that getting their goods to domestic and overseas markets — through our freight system and ports — will take longer and be more expensive?
“This has fast become the worst period in the modern era for dysfunction and destructive partisanship in Washington. If the leaders that voters send to Washington cannot even direct investments to support the daily needs of Americans and businesses, such as a safe and reliable transportation system, then something is seriously wrong.
“Transportation labor will continue to mobilize in favor of transportation job investments, and we will publicly call out those in office who are pushing a dangerous austerity agenda that is accelerating the erosion of our transportation system, undermining American competitiveness, and dooming millions of Americans to long-term unemployment.”
Contact: Jennifer Michels, email@example.com, 202-628-9262