As we discussed, yesterday was the 79th birthday of the Works Progress Administration, a huge government program to employ the nation’s unemployed while building a modern infrastructure.
Republicans controlling the House unveiled legislation on Tuesday that proposes a huge cut to a transportation grant program championed by President Barack Obama that funds road and bridge projects, light rail networks, port construction and bike paths.
The so-called TIGER grant program dates to Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus bill and was funded at $600 million this year. Obama wants to nearly double the program’s budget, but the newly released spending bill covering federal transportation and housing programs offers the administration just $100 million, an 83 percent cut from current levels.
The $52 billion measure maintains funding for community development block grants popular with local governments and fully funds an upgrade to the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen air traffic control system. But it proposes cuts to Amtrak capital construction and slices $1.2 billion from Obama’s request for housing subsidies for the poor.
The Republican Party, as forward thinking as always.