States Clash over Transportation Money Southern Lawmakers Vie with Northeast for Federal Dollars

By Lawrence J. Goodrich, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, February 27, 1997 | Go to article overview

States Clash over Transportation Money Southern Lawmakers Vie with Northeast for Federal Dollars


Lawrence J. Goodrich, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Political parties and ideology alone don't determine what goes on in the nation's capital. The upcoming battle royal over highway funding is a reminder that regional interests are at least as important.

In a huge continental nation such as the United States, clashes between varying regions are never far from the surface. Regional coalitions form, split apart, and reform, depending on the issue. But nothing is guaranteed to stir up tensions more than tussles over who's going to get federal money - Washington's famous pork.

The granddaddy of pork and regional politics this year goes by the unlikely name of ISTEA (pronounced "ice tea"), the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. The complex law, which is up for renewal this year, determines how billions in federal gas taxes are doled out to states and cities for such job-creating projects as building new roads, fixing old bridges, and subsidizing commuter rail and buses. Hearings on the measure resume today and continue over the next two weeks. In state and regional congressional delegations, the developing donnybrook is sweeping aside party divisions. "It's very, very rare that an issue unites Democrats and Republicans as much as this issue has ... both in the House and in the Senate," says Sen. John Breaux (D) of Louisiana, who wants the funding formula changed. Until 1991, federal highway funds were distributed using arcane formulas and old postal routes. ISTEA modified these formulas, which heavily favored Northeastern states, the former population center. It also provided money directly to cities aimed at helping them implement mass-transit measures - to help comply with the Clean Air Act. But much of the old system remained. Under ISTEA, states receive an annual chunk of highway funds based on a calculation so complex it might strain the abilities of even the best calculus student. Among the factors taken into account are a state's interstate highway miles, the state of repair of its bridges, the severity of its air pollution levels, and the amount of federal highway money the state has received in the recent past. This number is then adjusted further by several financial guarantees, such as one that holds each state get a minimum percentage of the overall highway pot. "ISTEA was based on a continuation of funding formulas from the 1987 Highway Act, which included a hodgepodge of formula adjustments that had been made over the previous 60 years," Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton (D) complained at a recent congressional hearing. That means about 25 "donor states," mostly in the South, pay the federal government more than they get back in highway funds - often far less than the 90 cents on the dollar ISTEA was supposed to ensure. Now a bipartisan coalition is sponsoring legislation to rewrite the formula so that states would get back at least 95 percent of gas-tax revenues distributed by Washington. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

States Clash over Transportation Money Southern Lawmakers Vie with Northeast for Federal Dollars
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.