The Truth-O-Meter Says:
McCain

"We spent approximately $20-billion of that money on pork barrel, earmark projects. Maybe if we had done it right, maybe some of that money would have gone to inspect those bridges and other bridges across the country."

John McCain on Saturday, August 4th, 2007 in a comment to a reporter.

Right on bridge repairs

Responding to the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Sen. John McCain said that if less money had been spent on earmarked projects in highway reauthorization bills, then more money could be spent on bridge repairs.

McCain is right. Bridge repair and bridge construction are authorized in the same bill. But of course, members of Congress would prefer to cut ribbons on new projects rather than see money go to less sexy repair projects.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar, D-Minn., recently unveiled a new plan to invest $65-billion immediately in replacing or repairing bridges. Rather than redirecting money in the highway bill, Oberstar has proposed establishing a dedicated fund for bridge repair. But raising that $65-billion within the federal budget would be a huge problem.

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About this statement:

Published: Friday, October 12th, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Subjects: Federal Budget

Sources:

American Society of Civil Engineers, Infrastructure Report Card

Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation, Review of Congressional Earmarks

House Transportation Committee

Interviews with former Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., and Keith Ashdown, chief investigator, Taxpayers for Common Sense

Written by: David Baumann
Researched by: David Baumann
Edited by: Scott Montgomery

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