U.S. House spends more on transportation by saying nothing, not even Republican congressmen!

September 15, 2011

Upon receiving an email Tuesday afternoon from Russ Vougt, Political Director, Heritage Action for America, with the subject heading, “Action Alert: Congressmen Nowhere to be found on Spending Extension,” although busy at the time, I was curious to read what the alert was all about and why it had a sense of urgency.

The Action Alert e-mail had to do with the U.S. Congress passing HR 2887 yesterday afternoon with a recorded voice vote only, which extended transportation construction programs at funding levels above the House-passed budget.  Furthermore, this six-month spending bill didn’t even have a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

Russ Vought went on to explain:

“The transportation package has long been the poster child of irresponsible Washington spending.  When the House passed a budget in the Spring, they lowered transportation funding, representing a curb on Washington’s spending binge.  And today, the House of Representatives turned its back on this spending discipline.  Any Representative could have asked for a recorded vote on this bill, but none did.”

A request was then made to call my representative and to follow through with a call report to Heritage Action.

Reaching the local and Washington, D. C. offices of my congressman, 10th District Bob Dold (R-IL) was the easy part.  What happened at the other end didn’t please me.  The legislative office assistants at Dold’s both offices were seemingly unfamiliar with HR 2887.

After explaining the nature of HR 2887, I proceeded with the suggested protocol to use when calling my  U.S. congressman.

“1)  I strongly object to passing HR 2887, the transportation funding bill, and the way it was passed.

2)  We sent you to Washington to cut spending, limit government, and bring back responsibility.

3)  This bill increased spending, above the level in the budget the House passed just this spring.

4)  and you passed this bill on a voice vote.  Why didn’t you object and ask for a recorded vote to put
Representatives on the record?”

My feedback call report back to Heritage Action for America was short and to the point:  “Both offices didn’t even know what HR 2887 was all about.  I had to explain the bill to the legislative office assistants before I could register my objections.”

“Johny on the spot” was this return reply from a representative at Heritage for America:



That’s why this is so awful:  the House voted to spend more on transportation than the budget allotted, and they don’t even know it!

Had this been a roll call vote, things many have been different.  Thankfully, many other conservatives are making calls similar to  your and we’re causing a ruckus on the Hill.”


It seems appropriate to ask U.S. Republican congressmen why they felt the urgency to pass in a voice vote a six-month extension to transportation program funding at a significantly level higher than the House-passed budget given that 1) The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, with its price tag of $787 billion, had approximately $25 billion for Infrastructure Investments which has not all been spent and, 2) The U.S. $447-billion Jobs Package unveiled by President Obama on Thursday, September 8th, has $60 billion more slated for road, rail and air infrastructure spending.

When does enough spending become enough for a nation that must either borrow or print money to pay for spending that is generating uncontrolled and unsustainable debt for future generations of Americans?

How long can our legislators keep spending money that this nation doesn’t have, even for projects that many Americans consider worthwhile and necessary?

As was reported recently, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 didn’t create the jobs promised or stimulate the economy.  So it will be with President Obama’s proposed Sept. 8th Jobs Package, even thought Obama is insisting that it must be passed now.

I am fearful that Republicans will once again feel the need to agree to spend on programs that they know will fail, fearful as they are of being targeted by President Obama, Democrat legislators, and the mainstream media as those mean Republicans who want Obama and the country to fail!

It was irresponsible what happened yesterday beneath the radar in the U.S. House with HB 2887. This kind of asleep-at-the-wheel legislating is irresponsible in face of yet another trillion dollar deficit.

Spending more money will not produce better results, a favored Democratic economic policy, even though stimulus bills meant to stimulate fail to stimulate.

Are Republican House members becoming gun shy after their elections in 2010 when we sent them to Washington, D.C. to cut spending, limit government, and bring back responsibility?

It is up to us to remind Republican House members, in no uncertain terms, that spending more is not the way to win favor with those of us who expect and demand so much more of them when we elected and sent them to Washington to work for us, we the people!



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