Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Don't Tread On Us

Washington, D.C. - Since its enactment in August, the $287 billion U.S. transportation-spending law has been a target. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita prompted calls for partial repeal of some of the spending, namely the 6,000 projects, or earmarks, that lawmakers set aside for their constituents. High gas prices have led some to suggest suspending or eliminating the wellspring of transportation funding: the federal gas tax. And now House conservatives are sharpening their budget-cutting knives.

But none of that will stop the powerful highway lobby.

Instead, officials from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association are watching their rear as they move on to their next big project: reauthorization of the highway bill in 2009. "Those are two sides of the same coin," says David Bauer, ARTBA's senior vice president for government relations.

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