When we last checked in on the Memorial Bridge replacement project, Reps. Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass had voted in favor of the House budget bill that threatened to pull the plug on the project’s $20 million economic recovery grant — all the while expressing their support for the bridge replacement.
When the action moved to the Senate, the hypocrisy continued.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) voted for H.R. 1, and thus to dismantle TIGER II, but is still asking the Department of Transportation to give a Tiger II grant to a bridge refurbishing project in her state, calling it “the No. 1 transportation priority” for New Hampshire.
Both of Maine’s Republican senators — Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins — also voted for H.R. 1, but are still trying to secure funding for the bridge project. Two other New Hampshire Republicans — Reps. Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass — voted for H.R. 1, but have said that they want the bridge funding. “Clearly, the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth should be a priority for the New Hampshire delegation to preserve,” Bass said.
Think Progress calls the elimination of the TIGER II grants for high priority infrastructure projects a “destructive and economically counterproductive” measure. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who voted against H.R.1, blasted the proposed federal cuts as “reckless and irresponsible” and vowed to fight them.