Lamborn blasts Dems for costly transportation bill; price tag was bipartisan

Thursday, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, announced that he voted against the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act and attacked Democrats for passing it. “This bill is just more of the same from Washington Democrats addicted to spending,” wrote Colorado’s 5th District Republican in a release. But, if this bill is any measure, Republicans are addicted to transportation spending too. House Republicans not only voted for the bill, but helped raise the cost of the Act to $446.8 billion through earmarks targeting their states.

Rep. Doug Lamborn
Rep. Doug Lamborn

The long list of Republican and Democratic lawmakers who asked for earmarks (pdf) included, for example, Ohio Republican Steven C. LaTourette, who asked for millions of dollars in earmarks. His requests included a $100,000 for a bike path feasibility study and $500,000 for ferry service from Ashtabula to Canada.

Other Republicans seemed to want it both ways. They voted against the bill but, confident that the bill would pass, were sure to insert earmarks that would bring funds to their constituents.

New York’s Pete King also asked for ferry boats. According to congressional records, King asked for $1,000,000 to be used for “the construction of a fast ferry boat terminal to connect commuters and tourists from downtown Glen Cove to New York City, La Guardia Airport, and other key travel corridors.”

Among other requests, King also asked for $215 million to extend the Long Island rail line to Grand Central Terminal.

King voted against the bill.

Texas Republican Kay Granger also added millions of dollars in requests to the legislation. Granger asked for $750,000 to finish an airport runway and surrounding infrastructure programs, $1.35 million for a bridge, and another $750,000 for buses and bus facilities.

Granger voted against the bill

Democratic lawmakers requested similar earmarks. The bill passed 256-168 in the House and 73-25 in the Senate. Both Democratic Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall voted for the bills passage. Colorado Reps. Mike Coffman, R-CO6, and Lamborn voted against it.

Edit note: The original version of this story reported that CO4 Rep. Betsy Markey had voted against the bill. She voted for it.

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