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OPINION: A Plan to Move Forward Blocked Again by Mitch

A plan to rebuild America seems destined to fall to the ‘Just Say No’ ethos of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Moving Forward Act, a $1.5 trillion package funding a range of infrastructure projects across the country, including rebuilding roads, highways, rail lines, bridges, water and broadband internet. 

North Jersey congressmen were able to earmark billions of dollars for the Garden State to improve transportation. Under the bill, almost $12 billion would be allocated for highway and transit upgrades in New Jersey along with at least $7.6 billion for infrastructure projects like the Gateway Tunnel Project.

These projects make sense not only for New Jersey, but for neighboring states as the roads and rails that run through the state are a key competent in driving the nation’s economy.

On top of that, these projects will put to work tens of thousands of our neighbors, helping our local economy bounce back from the devastating effects COVID-19 has wrought.

The Moving Forward Act is just not a bill that repairs roads and bridges going back to last century, but looks forward to the next one, providing monies to curb pollution, fund clean energy projects, boost healthcare access, modernize the U.S. Postal Service and clean drinking water infrastructure.

The bill is about modernizing our economy to fit with the demands of a global society. 

But then comes Mitch. Because there is only one highway in Washington that McConnell is concerned about and it is his. 

“This so-called infrastructure bill would siphon billions in funding from actual infrastructure to funnel into climate change policies,” McConnell said. “No wonder the White House has declared it ‘not a serious proposal’ and made it clear this will never become law. So naturally, this nonsense is not going anywhere in the Senate.”

If you want to know what the problem is in Washington, just read the above paragraph again. It’s a mentality that because we didn’t come up with it and doesn’t fit my policy goals, my party will not consider it.

A bill to fix our crumbling infrastructure is “nonsense?” Tell that to the thousands of NJ Transit commuters in recent years who have been stuck in the transit tunnels or Penn Station trying to get home on a weeknight, who have missed their child’s ballgame or back to school night.

Officials in Washington will be making defining decisions on all sorts of important issues in the next few years— healthcare, foreign affairs, spending and tax priorities, economy and, yes, climate change. McConnell inactions and refusal to take up legislation because they are not from his party are a mindset this nation can no longer afford. 

Needed are people willing to listen to all spectrum of ideas to make the best decisions for the country—not for the next election but the next century.

14 comments

  1. I don’t think McConnell will be happy until the northeast crumbles. I’ll be a lot happier when McConnell crumbles.

  2. The one reason the US Senate is a roadblock is its Republican majority. Republicans are always roadblocks, period. From emancipation to child labor women’s suffrage to Social Security to Medicare to civil rights to abortion and now to every one of Obama’s many accomplishments, conservatives have opposed them all. That’s what they do. That’s how they think. That’s who they are: human scum.

    1. The House democrats and their brothers in the Senate are out to turn this country into a socialist state. It will not work and it has been proven in history not to work.
      So take your ignorant comments and put them where the sun does not shine.
      Look at the mess Murphy has made out of NJ as a perfect example of socialistic policies that are taxing the average working American citizen to death with his give away programs to illegals!

      1. From your comments, it doesn’t sound like you know much about socialism. The Scandinavian countries are socialist and history has shown that it can work extremely well. Socialistic policies do not tax the average working person to death, but the wealthier among us. Socialist programs benefit many, not just illegals, like education, sanitation, and health care. I hope you’re able to take your ill informed comments and learn more about socialism.

    2. Mitch McConnell was right to refuse it the Democrats ALWAYS sneak something in when they propose a Bill. Thanks to Mitch. He stopped it.

    3. How typically partisan. When George W. Bush won reelection in 2004 Democrats blocked nearly all of his second term agenda even before their party took power in Congress in 2006. And mainstream media hailed them as “living up to their principles” or “standing up for their constituents”. Of course, when Senate Republicans do the same thing to House Democrats all we hear is whining from the Left.

  3. Every article I see relating to Republicans just tends to minimize the damage they have done for decades to the country.

    1. Charles Blow said it succinctly in today’s NY Times: “We are living in a horror movie, one starring Donald Trump.”

  4. As the former Mayor of Jersey City, the Gateway Project is a complete waste of money. The projected benefit is to get people to mid town Manhattan 20 minutes quicker. It will mean that people will leave to work 20 minutes later. The only people who benefit is where the tunnel begins and ends. It would make much more sense to improve the transportation systems within the State of New Jersey with the more likely $12 billion spent on a tunnel. Spending more money to benefit solely New York’s economy is not New Jersey’s concern. It would make more sense to build on the New Jersey side the same jobs that New Jersey residents commute for in the first place. Of course, some with claim that it will produce jobs but the same money will produce the same jobs in New Jersey. What jobs will be produced in Mid Town Manhattan that are not already there. The tunnel will cause some demolition of buildings to accommodate the tunnel. It is going to benefit someone’s real estate interests. Think of all of the ways we could improve transportation in New Jersey first.

    Jerry McCann
    Former Mayor of Jersey City

  5. Sorry “will claim”. There have been previous tunnels built under the Hudson River and most of the underwater construction were done by contractors from Italy more recently. The US companies had to hire underwater interpreters. All of the money is being spent underwater. I had built an underwater connection to the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority many years ago. That was just a pipe. If we could start all over, the economic engine of the region would have never been built on an island. Manhattan Island only goes up creating far more problems than the benefits. Northern and Middle New Jersey would benefit far more as well as the other boroughs, Long Island and Westchester. We keep feeding New York real estate interests. No one can afford to live in Manhattan any longer so foreign business interests buy citizenships with their purchases.

  6. I never case to be amazed at the number of haters who show up for any story that involves anything about government assistance.

    Facing reality, New Jersey and New York are inextricably tied together economically and wired into the entire country. The newest tunnels under the Hudson are 110 years old and failing. If they collapse, the entire regional economy will take a hit including our beloved New Jersey. And in my head I can hear the anti-Gateway folks weeping and wailing about the loss of life and blaming it on those socialist liberal Democrats!!!

    People have government because we need government. Those Republicans who buy into Grover Norquist’s hate-filled “shrink it until it goes down the drain by itself” are buying into a false ideal, in my opinion. Both too much and too little government are not good, but enough government to help people have better lives and serve the public interest is necessary. Or would you forfeit your government-sponsored Social Security checks or Medicare as you drive on government-sponsored roads, or take government-subsidized mass transit to avoid the pollution that this government chooses to ignore?

  7. Note the difference between me and John: I cite factual examples to prove my point, John doesn’t even try when he says simply “history proves it”, which is actually how I prove MY point! Therefore his adjective “ignorant”, applied to me, actually applies to him, a fact also proven by the fact that John clearly doesn’t know socialism from communism from democracy. His only real answer is nothing more than a childish personal attack, i.e., an ad-hominem (look it up, John!) attack on me, the messenger, rather than my message.

    All this typifies the difference between Democrats like me and Republicans like John. This is precisely why Republicans don’t even deserve a vote, or to breed or raise kids, let alone any job affecting others’ lives, such as public office — they openly and proudly hate so much of The Public!

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