A Corning Leader article posted on July 18 reported Rep. Tom Reed’s opinion on the Republican National Convention, which he is attending. Basically he remain optimistic that the party would unite and face the important issues facing America today. He also echoed the Party’s Law and Order talking points on the most recent Baton Rouge tragedy and talked about other issues.
What caught my eyes was his comments on “many road infrastructure projects taking place throughout the Southern Tier as a result of a $305 billion highway bill approved by Congress in 2015.” Reed said, “I don’t think people realize that a lot of this construction activity that we see is a result of the long-term highway bill that we passed last year.”
The bill he was praising reauthorizes the collection of 18.4 cents per gallon gas tax plus $70 billion “pay-fors” because the 18.4 cents per gallon will create only $34 billion annually. The other $16 billion per year will come from increases in customs and passport fees, and tapping dividend from the Federal Reserve Bank. The bill would also loosen the requirements to use union workers in the collection of taxes.
This bill will “sunset” in five years. This is the first time since 2005 that congress has extended this reauthorization for more than two years. The President’s original proposal was for six years and $478 billion, but it was reduced to by one year and $173 billion. Before signing the bill, President Obama said, “This bill is not perfect, but it is a commonsense compromise, and an important first step in the right direction.” (The Hill 12/04/15)
There was no Roll Call for votes taken, which leads me to believe that it passed both chambers by a voice vote. That way we do not know how our congressman voted or his feelings on the bill that he now seems to be taking credit for. A February 16, 2016 Press Release, Rep. Reed said that he is urging “Gov. Andrew Cuomo to seek the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (F.A.S.T.) Act funding to get Route 219 construction started.”
I don’t think Governor Cuomo really needed the urging of Rep. Reed to help Upstate Infrastructure.