A proposal from House Speaker Boehner (R) to President Obama, intended as the GOP’s alternative to appropriations for infrastructure programs, has become an embarrassment to Boehner and the GOP-TeaParty. Simply said, Boehner and his buddies got the law wrong. Sam Stein puts it all in context, in his article at Huffington Post:
“One of the Republican Party’s suggestions for how to create infrastructure jobs without spending a dime is unlikely to produce much of an impact, a Department of Transportation spokesman told The Huffington Post.
The proposal, which has been advanced by top GOP leadership, involves lifting a law that requires states to set aside ten percent of the federal transportation funding they receive for use on transportation repairs. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote a letter to President Obama on Sept. 6, framing the idea as a preferred substitute to Congress appropriating additional money for infrastructure repairs.”
“While the suggestion sounds like a win-win — increasing transportation funds without increasing transportation spending — there is only one problem. Boehner’s letter gets the details of the law wrong.
There is no requirement that states set aside 10 percent of all federal surface transportation funds for purposes of funding Transportation Enhancement projects, a Department of Transportation official confirms. Rather, the law says that they must set aside ten percent of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funding for those purposes.”