Ezra Klein was filling in for Rachel Maddow this Tuesday night and after running down a list of recent stories on water main breaks across the country and the fact that our country's infrastructure is rated at a D or lower right now, Klein spoke to Sen. Bernie Sanders about the Republicans' continued obstruction on passing the transportation bill and their reason for it. And he's absolutely right with his conclusion. If something is going to make President Obama look good, they're not going to pass it.
Here's the latest from The Hill on the transportation bill: Reid 'not ready' yet to give up on passing a long-term transportation bill
How pathetic is it that you've got Barbara Boxer and James Inhofe managing to come to an agreement and John Boehner won't bring this thing up for a vote in the House? Their behavior ought to be criminal because it's going to continue to cost lives when you literally allow our roads and our sewers to crumble because you'd rather play politics than do what's right for the economy and for the country.
And as Klein and Sanders pointed out, these short term extensions are just as destructive as passing nothing at all because contractors have to be able to budget and plan for these projects, which you make impossible to do when you refuse to pass any long term funding. And as Sanders pointed out, in states like his, you've got weather considerations as well and if you're messing around like they are this far into the year, you're making sure projects are stalled and might not be completed in a timely or efficient manner, because by the time they plan them, the weather is too cold for all of the work to be done.
Republicans keep carping about "uncertainty" being the cause of businesses not spending and fear of new regulations causing them not to hire. Here's your uncertainty for you. Right here, and it's intentional. These Republicans literally would rather see our nation crumble than allow President Obama to be reelected. I've watched a lot of cynical things with these politicians in my lifetime, but this has to be right up there with some of the worst.
Anyone who is as sick of this stuff as I am can go find your elected Representative in the House here if you'd like to let them know how you feel as well: Find Your Representative. You can contact Speaker Boehner here. Or you can leave him a note on Twitter here: @johnboehner.
Rachel Maddow's staff has got a list of links to the recent news articles Ezra Klein went through before Sen. Sanders joined him on the air. You can check them out below the fold.
Water main break causes gridlock in East Rutherford
Water main break closes Baltimore's Hargrove district court building
Water main break in St. Louis shuts lanes of Hampton Avenue
Water main break floods Pearl City home
Engineers Give U.S. Infrastructure A 'D'
2009 Infrastructure Fact Sheet (pdf)
Evanston speeding water main repairs after leaks, breaks along key road Experts: U.S. water infrastructure in trouble