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House GOP Failure on Highway Bill Shows Incompetence, Dysfunction

Duct-Tape Approach to Nation’s Roads and Bridges Risks Safety,
3/29/2011 LIUNA

Washington, D.C. (March 29, 2012) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement on the U.S. House’s passage of a 90-day extension of the surface transportation bill:

LIUNA is appalled that the U.S. House of Representatives’ radical GOP wing has succeeded in derailing passage of a long-term Highway Bill that fully invests in America’s transportation systems and protects good jobs. After nearly three years of temporary extensions, another 90-day extension shows incompetence and dysfunction.

With one-in-four bridges in America deemed structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, House Republicans are forcing Americans to play Russian roulette every day when they drive to work, pick up groceries, or travel with their families.

The Highway Bill is the single-largest jobs-creating legislation in the nation and is mainly how highways, bridges and transit systems are built and maintained.

House Republicans are failing at a fundamental level in their duty to come together to ensure passage of legislation desperately needed for safety and to keep our economy moving in the right direction. Without a commitment to work out a bipartisan approach to reauthorizing these important transportation programs, this irresponsible extension only guarantees that Congress will be in the same position again in three months. House Republicans need to end the “take it or
leave it” style of governing and pass a bill that can win passage in both chambers and be signed into law.

LIUNA’s “Emergency Bridge Repair Team” has been on the road for the last two weeks traveling from John Boehner’s home state of Ohio to Washington, DC, alerting motorists to the dangers posed by thousands of unsafe bridges. The truck – which carries a giant roll of duct tape to highlight House Republicans’ current approach to fixing America’s roads and bridges – has made stops at several bridges where workers have attempted to “repair” them with duct tape.

With this campaign, we’re sending a message to Speaker Boehner and the House of Representatives that it’s time to end the political games. We need to pass a strong, bipartisan Highway Bill not just to protect our economy and our bridges – but also our lives.

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