1991 Scorecard Vote
During consideration of the 1991 Surface Transportation Reauthorization, environmental organizations worked hard to eliminate the bias in current law favoring highway construction over other modes of transportation.
Environmentalists strongly supported provisions in S. 1204 that prohibited funds set aside for maintenance of the interstate highway system to be used for new highway capacity. Funds were also available in S. 1204 to add new capacity to highways. However, the bill required such projects to compete with alternative transit solutions, such as high occupancy vehicle lanes, to address increased transportation demand.
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) offered an amendment that would have allowed the interstate maintenance funds, as well as the other funds in S. 1204, to be used for the construction of new lanes on interstate highways, purportedly to address air pollution concerns. In fact, diverting funds from mass transit programs to construct more clogged and congested highway systems would increase air pollution in the long run. Environmental groups opposed the Reid Amendment because it would have restored the bias in current law favoring highway construction.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) moved to table (kill) the Reid Amendment. The Moynihan motion to table was accepted 62-36 on June 13, 1991. YES is the pro-environment vote.