Kenai Peninsula Online reports Tulsa's mayor said Wednesday he is concerned that lives would be put at risk if a move by Sen. Tom Coburn and other Republican senators to pull back special project funding for highways is successful. Under their proposal, announced Tuesday, $118.8 million in funding for the widening of Interstate 44 in Tulsa would be eliminated, along with $130 million for funding of Oklahoma City's Crosstown Expressway reconstruction project. Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune said he understands the need for cutbacks to provide funding for hurricane relief, but he thinks public safety infrastructure projects, along with defense, should be off the table. "I hate to see a public safety project be sacrificed for that," LaFortune said. "It seems to me that we have lives at stake. Interstate 44 is a public safety issue. There are people being hurt. People are dying because it is so narrow and so heavily traveled."
If that is true, why have you not persuaded the State to fund part of it, and why have you not come up with City funds to do it. Why wait for federal funds? Federal funds are not going to go to areas that need the money the most, they are going to areas where the Congressmen and Senators have the most pull. Why not have no money come from the feds, because it will be spent inequitably, and let locals who know the real need for something, pay to build it. I guarantee you that the 50 residents of that island in Alaska would not come up with the money for the Bridge to Nowhere. They don't need it..... "Why should anyone be surprised? He's doing exactly what he told people he would do," said Humphreys, who finished second to Coburn in a bitter Republican primary last year for the Senate. "I don't disagree with Tom on the need for fiscal responsibility," he added. "I do disagree with him on how to get there. It takes 51 votes in the U.S. Senate to get anything done.
So should one not make a principled stand? I am glad we have Coburn there rather than you.Making a point while the vast majority of senators vote against you accomplishes very little, except to make you feel good." The package introduced by Coburn and fellow Republicans proposed eliminating all special highway projects recently approved by Congress and delaying the Medicare prescription drug program for all but the poorest seniors. Both the highway bill and the drug program have been signed into law by the president. The proposal, totaling about $125 billion over two years, also includes a 5 percent, across-the-board cut in all government spending except for defense and homeland security needs.