Last week, the House passed H.R. 1195 which amends the Highway Bill from 2005, (The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act SAFETEA-LU). To say H.R. 1195 passed is an understatement, it passed overwhelmingly…there were only 50 of us who voted against it, including yours truly.
This bill was supposed to only be making technical corrections to SAFETEA-LU, but if you read what the bill actually does, it conveniently increases funding for roughly 500 earmarks.
Included is a “technical correction” which expands an earmark for magnetic levitation technology (MAGLEV), a mass transit program. This earmark was problematic from the start. This project actively competes with a private company that is raising billions of dollars (without taxpayer support) to complete a similar high-speed rail route from Las Vegas to Southern California. Furthermore, the demand for a MAGLEV route from Southern California to Las Vegas is relatively low. Taxpayers from Florida, Ohio, or any other state should not be forced to foot the bill for earmarks that serve a select few. Besides, you can get a plane ticket from LAX to Las Vegas for as little as $118.