Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement after the Senate voted down his amendment, 30-67, to reform the federal highway program by empowering states with the flexibility to make their own transportation decisions. Vote results can be viewed here.
"It's disappointing that Senate Democrats were joined by some Republicans in defeating a commonsense reform that would empower states and remove costly regulations," said Senator DeMint. "Our nation is $15 trillion in debt because politicians from both parties have passed bipartisan spending bills like this bloated highway bill. Taxpayers have already bailed out the federal highway trust fund with $35 billion, and this highway bill would force them to provide another $13 billion bailout. We've got to stop the bipartisan spending spree and the federal government has to start letting go of programs that can be done better, faster, and less expensively at the state level. If we devolved the federal highway out of Washington, the large majority of states would have more money to spend on roads and bridges, and they could set their own priorities."
Senator DeMint's amendment was also introduced last year as a stand-alone bill, the Transportation Empowerment Act.