Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, and others are negotiating a federal transportation bill that puts fixing our roads, making them safe, and fostering economic growth and job creation on the line for Southwest Washington (June 19 Columbian editorial "Congress, Pass a Highway Bill.")
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., worked with conservative Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe from Oklahoma to craft a strong transportation bill that passed the Senate with 74 votes, from both parties and every region of the country.
House GOP leaders bucked the 60-year-old tradition of bipartisan transportation bills. Instead they tried to pass a bill riddled with extreme proposals — oil drilling on protected lands, eliminating funding for mass transit and pedestrian safety, and more — that could not win a majority of Republican votes let alone any Democratic ones.
Now in discussions with the Senate to produce a final bill, House negotiators have come to the table armed only with a wish list of extreme policies and job-killing budget cuts that they could not pass in their own chamber.
Let's hope Herrera Beutler will buck the extremists in her own party and support the Senate's bipartisan compromise so the region can get on with making roads safer and the economy stronger.