Happy Monday! Federal funding for major road construction projects and national anti-drunk driving campaigns dried up Sunday night amid
Lawmakers failed to reach agreement last week on tax credits, unemployment insurance for roughly 400,000 Americans and a short-term
extension of the Highway Trust Fund. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that he expects Republicans to along with a vote this week to pass the $10 billion package despite objections from Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), who objected and delayed the bill.
"Senator Bunning supports this bill," his spokesman Mike Reynard told The Post on Saturday. "He believes it is essential that it should pass. But the bill must be
paid for. If we can't find $10 billion to pay for something that all
100 senators support, we will never pay for anything."
Bunning's objections mean the Transportation Department must furlough roughly 2,000 starting today at the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration.
“I am keenly disappointed that political games are putting a stop to important construction projects around the country,” Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood
said in a statement late Sunday night. “This means that construction
workers will be sent home from job sites because federal inspectors
must be furloughed.”
Construction will stop on the $50 million 9th Street Bridge replacement project in the District and the $36 million Humpback Bridge
replacement on Northern Virginia's George Washington Parkway because
federal inspectors cannot report for work. NHTSA employees working with
advocacy groups on safe driving programs including the "Click it or Ticket" and anti-texting campaigns
will have to stay home. (The furlough doesn't impact NHTSA employees
working on the recent Toyota safety recalls and investigations are not
impacted, DOT said.)