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Berkley Vows Fight Against GOP Plans to Axe $46 Million From Valley Transportation Projects

Location: Washington, DC

Berkley Vows Fight Against GOP Plans to Axe $46 Million From Valley Transportation Projects

Funding at Risk for I-15, U.S. 95, LV Beltway Improvements, Clean Buses

(Washington, DC -- October 28, 2005) Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) today vowed to fight Republican plans to cut $46 million in funding to improve Valley roadways, including I-15 and the Las Vegas Beltway. Berkley, who sits on the House Transportation Committee, secured the $46 million in projects as part of the federal highway bill signed into law earlier this year.

"Republicans want to score political points by cutting millions of dollars to expand I-15, U.S. 95 and the Las Vegas Beltway. I fought to bring this $46 million in funding back to Las Vegas and I will fight this irresponsible Republican plan that will punish Valley drivers and those who rely on public transportation," said Berkley. "The loss of these funds also creates a real safety issue. Insufficient roads and overcrowded freeways not only cause headaches for drivers, they endanger lives, and this ludicrous plan will only create more gridlock and more traffic accidents," Berkley said.

Earlier this week, Republican Senators, led by Nevada's John Ensign, called for a repeal of all earmarks included in the recent highway bill, as part of a new budget package. The move would eliminate $46 million in direct funding for southern Nevada highway and transit projects secured by Berkley through her seat on the House Transportation Committee.

"Republicans want to take our transportation money to cover their reckless spending which has left America with the largest deficits in history and an $8 trillion national debt. Nevada drivers and Nevada businesses should not have to pay the price for the fiscal failures of the Republican Congress and the Bush White House. These are the same people who give billions in sweetheart tax breaks to oil companies and nuclear power, then turn around and want families in Las Vegas to live with traffic jams and clogged freeways so they can continue scratching the backs of the special interests."

In addition to funding important local transportation needs, Berkley noted that projects included in the highway bill also stimulate the economy and create new jobs.

"This is not only a highway package, it's an employment bill that will provide good-paying new jobs in Nevada and all across our nation," said Berkley, noting that analysts have calculated that for every $1 billion in federal highway spending, 47,500 jobs will be created.

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