Congressional Shake-up

The word came through yesterday afternoon that Earl Blumenaur will be moving to the House Ways and Means Committee. This means he has to give up his Transportation Committee seat.

At the same time, the Democratic Caucus says they are going to strip earmarks from the omnibus spending bill for the balance of the year.

What does this mean for transportation funding here in the Portland region? Possibly some short term disruption, but ultimately I think it’s for the best. I would hope for rational rules for competitive programs for transportation spending, and I’m confident our region can generate projects that score well on good criteria.

The other news is that Peter Defazio appears headed for the chairmanship of the Surface Transportation sub-Committee.

3 responses to “Congressional Shake-up”

  1. Hopefully, Peter can get the State to agree and have some money granted for studies, engineering, and right of way purchases for high speed rail in the Willamette Valley.

    We need a one to two hour train ride from Portland to Eugene. What is it now, 3 hours? Doesn’t compete against I5.


  2. First, let’s take a second and wish his family well before we leap all over the speculation.

    Regardless, the “news” reported above is incorrect. From the NY Times, “By the end of the day, after what his office called “a comprehensive evaluation by the stroke team” at George Washington University Hospital here, a spokeswoman for Mr. Johnson said that he had not suffered a stroke or a heart attack. The spokeswoman, Julianne Fisher, gave no further details about Mr. Johnson’s medical condition.”

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