U.S. House votes to pass debt ceiling bill
House Republicans Proposals Jeopardize Transportation Safety and Infrastructure Across Alaska Says USDOT
Posted/Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN
April 26, 2023
A potential debt-ceiling crisis in the United States began unfolding on January 19, 2023, when the United States hit its debt ceiling.
The final vote was 217-215, with four Republicans – Ken Buck of Colorado, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Tim Burchett of Tennessee and Matt Gaetz of Florida – voting against the bill. The bill will raise the government's #31.4 trillion debt ceiling with sweeping cuts over the next decade.
However, the U.S. Department of Transportation responded in a news release saying the Congressional Republicans are holding the nation’s full faith and credit hostage in an effort to impose devastating cuts that would hurt rural communities, raise costs for hardworking families, and set back economic growth. Last week, House Republicans released their extreme proposal to hold our economy hostage in order to slash funding for programs the American people depend on in their everyday lives—including funding that’s vital for ensuring transportation safety and infrastructure in Alaska. And they are demanding these cuts while separately advancing proposals to add over $3 trillion to deficits through tax cuts and giveaways skewed to the wealthy and big corporations.
Quoting a news release from the USDOT, while the President’s Budget details a plan to make our communities safer and protect workers and consumers, House Republicans’ proposal to cut a broad range of critical programs in Alaska by 22%:
• Cut 20 Rail Safety Inspections in Alaska. At a time when train derailments are wreaking havoc on community safety, House Republicans’ proposal would lead to 20 fewer rail safety inspection days and 50 fewer miles of track inspected in Alaska next year alone. Since the Norfolk Southern train derailment, bipartisan Senators have called for more rail inspections, not fewer.
• Jeopardize Air Safety and Increase Airport Security Wait Times. The proposal would shut down services at 4 Contract Air Traffic Control Towers in Alaska, likely also require shut down of additional Federally-staffed facilities, and increase wait times at TSA security check points at large airports across the country by over 2 hours.
• Withhold Vital Transportation Infrastructure Funding. Under the House Republican proposal, Alaska would stand to lose nearly $47 million in funding for transit and highway infrastructure projects all across the state.
As of Wednesday evening, U.S. Representative Mary Sattler Peltola, had not released any comments on the passage of this bill. (Bills sponsored - cosponsored)
Congress has increased the debt ceiling 78 times since 1960, 49 of those increases taking place when a Republican was president and the other 29 during a Democratic presidency.
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