1986 Scorecard Vote
Our federal highways are littered with billboards and millions of our tax dollars are being spent to keep it that way. During the past 20 years, taxpayers have paid the billboard industry over $250 million to remove old billboards, but thanks to loopholes in the law, the industry has erected three new billboards for every one removed. In addition, federal agency officials allow billboard companies to cut down trees on public land -- guaranteeing even more visual pollution.
During House floor consideration of the Omnibus Highway bill, Rep. Shaw (R-FL) offered an amendment to place restrictions on billboards along federal highways. However, Rep. Shuster (R-PA) offered an industry-backed substitute to: continue paying cash for the removal of non-conforming billboards; allow billboard owners to keep their signs after removal for possible use elsewhere; legitimize the federal policy of allowing tree cutting in front of billboards; and freeze the total number of billboards along federal-aid highways, but allow old billboards to be replaced on a one-for-one basis.
The vote is on the Shuster Amendment to the Shaw Amendment. Shuster Amendment accepted 251-159; August 7, 1986. NO is the pro-environmental vote. (Shuster Amendment to H.R. 3129, Omnibus Highway Bill.) Because of differences between the Senate and House bills, highway legislation was not passed in 1986.