If you’re new to the story of The Bridge To Nowhere, Ronald Utt at The Heritage Foundation gives the history of the bridge project in, The Bridge to Nowhere: A National Embarrassment. It’s an excellent primer.
Today the amendment, by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), to change the language of the original transportation bill by striking “for the construction of a bridge joining the Island of Gravina to the community of Ketchikan in Alaska” and inserting “for the reconstruction of the Twin Spans Bridge connecting New Orleans, Louisiana, and Slidell, Louisiana” will be considered.
Contrary to initial reports, “The Bridge To Nowhere” amendment has not been rejected, but Powerline reports that Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) has issued a vague threat to Senators thinking of supporting the amendment. That might be enough to kill the amendment.
Contrast Sen. Murray’s words with those I personally heard in the Capitol building (just hours ago) direct from the mouth of Chief Deputy Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) [As transcribed by Mary Katharine Ham]:
- “I do hear the level of frustration…We and our party intend to absolutely address that and get a handle on federal spending.“
Apparently Senators haven’t “heard” yet…
Update: Club for Growth reports that “The Bridge To Nowhere” amendment is being discussed on the floor right now. Keep an eye on this page, and look for action on H.R. 3058, S.Amdt. 2085 (PDF/text), to see how the upcoming vote turns out.
Update 2: Club for Growth notes that ultimate defeat for the amendment. The good news is this was another issue that some on left and the right could agree on. Those who voted for the amendment include Virginia Senator George Allen – damn fortunate for him because I just got a letter soliciting campaign contribution today. Let’s put it this way, before I knew how he voted I was thinking of how I could publicly tweak him here by announcing a contribution to his presumed challenger – Virginia Governor Mark Warner.