The Highways BEE Act: Politics as Usual

Sigh.  So here’s a perfectly smart and sensible bill that’s going nowhere. Has anyone been following the Highways BEE Act?  It is a revenue-neutral bill (should actually save money) that directs the Secretary of Transportation to use already existing resources and programs to work with the state highway departments, which manage the greenery around interstate highways.  The idea is to get them to use an already-existing approach called IVM (integrated vegetation management) to mow less, plant more natives, and allow highway right-of-ways to serve as habitat for pollinators, ground-nesting birds, etc.

Again.  Revenue-neutral. Already all set up. Enjoys wide support.  Expected to save the states money.

So what’s the problem?

Certain members of Congress feel that the government should not be involved in highways at all, and that this bill simply represents more unwanted government interference. 

That’s right.  You heard me. Interstate highways should not be government-run. 

I’m just going to pause and let that one sink in for a minute.

If you’re not sure which “certain members” I’m talking about, here’s a hint:  They were recently voted into office by people who shouted things like “Get the government out of my Medicare” at rallies.

Yeah.

The highway bill is being held up for all sorts of reasons right now.  You can imagine the kind of pointless bickering that’s going on.

But this?  Please.

Read more about the bill here.

Sign a petition here.

Please spread the word. If you want to tweet this out, give a little shout-out to @Pollinators, the good folks behind this thing.

Oh, and Congress?  Could you please, for once, just lighten up and do something sensible and not turn everything into a huge, unnecessary drama and just get back to work and quietly and nicely do your job?

I didn’t think so.

Posted by

Amy Stewart
on February 23, 2012 at 6:29 am, in the category Ministry of Controversy.

Comment List

  • Suzanne 01 / 04 / 2016

    Too simple a solution! BTW if Interstate Highways aren’t under gov’t control, who is responsible? I think I learned the meaning of INTERstate in high school & why the federal gov’t has jurisdiction. Are these people stupid?

  • tibs 19 / 05 / 2016

    Also want to delete the requirement that a percentage of the highway funds go to bike and hiking trail construction and public transportation. The highway bill has always been a tuffy to get thru congress.

  • Heather 12 / 07 / 2016

    Maybe if they required the pollinators to have an ultrasound first they would pass this.

  • Marte 02 / 11 / 2016

    Good one, Heather! I wish you had “like” buttons on comments here.

  • Jason 07 / 11 / 2016

    People suffer when ideology trumps common sense. The most powerful ideology in our politics today holds that government is always bad.

  • Benjamin Vogt 19 / 11 / 2016

    Holy SH*T amen. Hey–why not have boy scouts maintain highways? Or girl scouts? I’m all about equality. The girl scouts could also sell cookies to motorists stuck in construction gridlock. I mean, duh. Where’s congress on this one? Dipwads. This makes me want to go toss seed out my car window as I drive down the road.

  • emily 19 / 11 / 2016

    They probably wouldn’t let Lady Bird Johnson be an advocate for the beautification of highways theses days

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