Republican Pro-Corporate Toll Congressman Says, “We’re Headed For A Meltdown”

Posted in Around The Nation, Around The State, Privatization, Road Issues at 10:40 am by wcnews

EOW has been posting about the neglect of our transportation infrastructure over the last 30 years for a some time. It’s always amusing when Republicans notice the destruction they’ve caused and try to hide the way they want to fix it. In this article, Trouble down the road for highway funding, we’re told this by U.S. Rep. John Mica of Florida:

“We’re headed for a meltdown,” said U.S. Rep. John Mica of Florida, the ranking Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “It’s going to be much more than a bridge that collapses.”


“Sometimes, it takes a crisis to get Congress to do something,” he told an audience of about 600. “If we do nothing, I can tell you, from sea to shining sea we’ll have nothing but a big parking lot.”

Mica said he’s ready to act, announcing his goal to come up with a plan. He marveled at how recent presidents, including George W. Bush, and lawmakers have failed to do that, though a congressional commission is now working on it.

“Shame on Congress and past administrations,” said Mica, who’s served in the House since 1992.

Yes, shame!! What does the good Congressman propose?

Though he has no details, Mica said the plan should define what’s needed, what oversight the federal government should have and how people should pay.

He’s got a plan he just doesn’t want to talk about it in Texas right now, more than likely. Here’s a excerpt form a press release from him from May:

“Over the past two years the issue of public-private partnerships has been a hotly debated topic in transportation circles,” Mica said. “My home state of Florida has been on the cutting edge of using innovative financing techniques to fund transportation projects. We had originally hoped to have the new Florida Secretary of Transportation, Stephanie Kopelousos, testify at this hearing but she was unable to come to Washington today due to previous commitments.

“I believe that public-private partnerships, and specifically private sector financing, will play a key role in solving our impending transportation funding crisis. But I do not believe that public-private partnerships should be the only solution that we pursue. Central Florida uses a host of innovative financing techniques, including toll roads; however I believe that the interstate system should be largely free of tolls.

“To finance improvements, states are being forced to fill a void created by a lack of federal transportation policy. The Federal Government doesn’t know what our infrastructure system should look like in the future because we do not have a national strategic transportation plan.

“With that in mind, I am concerned about a letter that Chairman Oberstar and Chairman DeFazio sent to all the Governors, state DOTs, and state legislators on May 10th. They wrote to ‘strongly discourage’ states from entering into public-private partnership agreements that are not in the long-term interest of our national transportation plan.

Using pro-corporate toll phrases like “cutting edge” and “innovative financing techniques” that could have very well been Perry, Williamson or Krusee talking.

Mr. Mica shames himself, Congress and past administrations for defunding our transportation infrastructure and in order to fix it he wants to sell or lease our infrastructure to corporations that will charge exorbitant toll rates, that would be much, much more expensive than raising and indexing the gas tax. He’s got a plan, he just didn’t want to talk about it yesterday.

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