Dem lawmaker blasts GOP effort to end 'Safe Routes to School' program

Blumenauer noted that since the program's inception in 2005, grants have been given out that help ensure safe walking and biking routes, which has helped kids become healthier and reduced traffic congestion around the country.

"Doesn't it make sense to do something about the congestion, the injury, the death and the obesity?" he asked.

ADVERTISEMENT
"So why are my Republican friends advancing a transportation bill attacking Safe Routes to School, stripping it out, making it an unsafe route to school? Well, it's a fitting metaphor for perhaps the worst transportation bill in history.

"I think that may be one of the reasons they were afraid to have a single hearing on the package coming to the floor this week."

The Safe Routes to School program was established in 2005, and originally authorized to spend $612 million through 2009. Later, the program was authorized to spend a total of $978 million through 2011. The program released $200 million worth of grants in 2011, and $180 million in 2010.

The Republican transportation authorization bill up this week, H.R. 7, would spend $260 billion over five years, but eliminates the Safe Routes to School program entirely.