Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked consideration of a bill to put Americans to work rebuilding roads and bridges. The 51-to-49 vote fell far short of the 60 votes that were needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. "With our economy in worse shape than at any time since the Great Depression, it is literally beyond comprehension how we could not get a single Republican to vote for a bill to put people to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges.
The measure would have provided $60 billion to build and repair roads, rail lines and other infrastructure projects. "In Vermont, almost one-third of our bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and 36 percent of our federal-aid roads are rated ‘not acceptable' and need of major repairs. We need to invest in our infrastructure almost as badly as we need to provide jobs," Sanders said.
The defeat was the third in a string of Senate setbacks for bills to create jobs. Republicans earlier blocked measures to avoid layoffs of teachers, firefighters, and police officers.
The measures would have been financed by a tax on the wealthiest Americans. A surtax on millionaires, first advanced by Sanders in the Senate last March, enjoys overwhelming public support.