1978 Scorecard Vote
Surface Transportation Assistance Act H.R. 11733. The vote is on the Giaimo amendment to declare it a national policy that expenditures from the Highway Trust Fund must be closely related to the Fund's anticipated annual revenues. This was not the case in the bill. It extended the highway trust fund for another five years, with anticipated revenues of about $8 billion a year, but it authorized spending $10.9 billion a year from the Trust Fund. Most of the money would be for new highway construction. Since the Highway Trust Fund now has a fat balance, the impact of the deficit financing would not be felt until 1985, when the Trust Fund would run out of money. Giaimo's amendment would have limited highway spending to $8.3 billion annually. It left mass transit funds intact but sharply cut back funding for the repair and construction of bridges from the $2 billion in the bill down to about $500 million per year. Environmentalists supported Giaimo because highways are often a threat to parks and open space, and encourage transportation by car which is both polluting and wasteful of energy. The deficit spending added fiscal responsibility to what was already a poor transportation policy. The Carter Administration also supported Giaimo's amendment. A few of our usual friends went the other way because of their need to repair bridges in their districts. Rejected 111-238. September 21, 1978. YES is the correct vote.