Friday, August 7, 2009

Transportation Bill Threatens Health Care Reform

As the majority of spectators concern themselves with town hall "rioting" and YouTube antics, a far more dangerous threat to President Obama's health care reform has emerged: a $500 Billion Transportation and Infrastructure Bill.

Basically, James Oberstar - a Minnesota Democrat and Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - has been pushing for multi-year authorization of the various construction programs carried out by the federal government. Why now? Well, the coffers are running dry, and the Transportation Fund is at risk of literally running out of money if nothing is done about it. Already, a $7B legislative equivalent of mezz financing has been passed, buying the country an entire month until our roads start going to hell (or somewhere similar). President Obama's solution: extend the programs for 18 months, and get through the health care battle without presenting another multi-billion dollar piece of legislation to the public. The trouble is, Chairman Oberstar wants the Transportation bill passed now, and he has essentially threatened to do whatever it takes in order to see that through. Obserstar's stated tactics include, but are not limited to, "rolling over" the White House.

It shall be interesting to watch this unfold; judging from the letter below, Oberstar has found significant support for his intentions (see the number of signatures attached to the letter) and is not afraid to take on the President. This health bill is fragile enough without the distraction of the Transportation Bill; our bet is that it brings health care reform down.

Oberstar Letter to Obama Transportation Bill Sphere: Related Content

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