Union knocks GOP governors on transportation funding rejections

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"When Governor Brown signed the appropriations bill into law, he bucked a recent unusual trend of governors (all Republicans if you’re wondering) eschewing job-creating transportation projects to score points with their party base," he continued. "These governors have been auditioning in front of extremists who forget that both Democrats and Republicans rallied behind historic infrastructure investments in the last century that came to define America as the world’s greatest economy. Clearly, we have two transportation visions on a collision course."

The Republican governors argued at the time of their rejections that the railways would not generate enough ridership to sustain their operations once they were built with the money from the Obama administration.

But Wytkind said the rejections of transportation money from the Obama administration cost the Republican governors' states 129,000 jobs.

"Apparently their knowledge of American history pales in comparison to Governor Brown’s, whose state will reap the benefits of a modernized rail transportation system: 600,000 jobs to build the system and 450,000 permanent jobs; reduced congestion and air pollution, and 13 million fewer barrels of foreign oil consumed annually," he said.

"Landmark U.S. infrastructure achievements were built on visions ahead of their time, dating back to President Lincoln’s funding of the intercontinental railroad in the midst of the civil war," Wytkind continued. "These things don’t just happen — they require political leaders in both parties who think about what their generation is going to leave for the next one. Right now this generation is leaving behind a crumbling transportation system."

The California railway has received more than $3 billion from the Obama administration, a figure which includes money that was redirected to the state after the governors' rejections in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin. 

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